Thursday, May 28, 2009

"The Maquette"

The top left photo is the maquette oriented as the sculpture will be. On the top right is the maquette laying on the stone. You can see the pattern of the toothed chisel on the stones surface clearly. The bottom left photo is the beginning of roughing out the sculpture.
At this point I am "finding" the sculpture within the stone. It's exciting, knowing what the finished form will be and making the decisions of what to remove. All art is a series of decisions, especially carving a stone.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

"Cleaning Up The Stone"

I have made friends with the rock. The stone revealed it's weaknesses and strengths and now comes the roughing out stage. My original thought was to do a direct carve, no preconceived concept of the finished sculpture, just going with the stone. It's such a gorgeous rock, it seems a shame not to make the best use of the material and create a maquette that will guarentee no loss of stone and will let the translucency shine. The chips coming off the stone glisten like fresh fallen snow. When I saw that sparkle, I realized I should slow down and on this extraordinary piece of alabaster. Once I have the maquette figured out I'll be ready to rough out the basic shape of the sculpture.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Raw Stone

This stone is a translucent alabaster from Voltare, Italy. You can read the "123" on the side of the stone written in black, that is the weight of the stone. Alabaster is generally 147 lbs. per cubic foot, so you can get the idea of the size.
Next to the "123" you can see white areas within the stone. This is crushed stone and will only become more apparent as the sculpture progresses so my first step is to clean up the stone, carve away all the bruised areas, so that I know exactly how much stone I have to work with.
I love this stage, it's the initial greeting, where I get to discover the rock and learn what it will offer to the finished sculpture. This stone has a warm glow, when the sun drops low enough in the sky to shine on the rock. It seems very solid and I have been aggressive with my chisel to knock off any areas that are weak.