Todays picture is courtesy of Pooch (who photographs my work better than anyone else) as he dropped in for a visit. He found me in the ring working on the forms. Slow work, but they are gradually taking shape. I shall bring this side up to a high standard before turning the sculpture over once more. I am finding that the lines running round the sculpture in both the peaks and the troughs are far from straight. These wobbles are constantly being reduced in my working up of the forms. No doubt more problems of this kind will be evident when I turn the piece again. Thanks for the picture Pooch. Why are your photographs so much better than mine?
Thursday, 24 April 2014
They are not very beautiful just yet. That will come with more time and attention but today I simply removed lots of marble. Small amounts of material removal over the next few days however will make a great deal of difference. The forms should begin to look less lumpen. All the while I have to keep an eye on how much marble there is left between the forms. Take away too much and the sculpture will be too fragile.
I discovered a barn owl this evening trapped in the chicken coop. It must have been in there when we closed the chickens last night. Twenty hours without food. I hope it is ok. I hope its young are ok,if it has chicks.
Wednesday, 23 April 2014
I did not bother to sand off the first side of the sculpture as I shall no doubt mess it up to some extent whilst shaping the second side. As you can see I turned the piece over on the ground with the Matbro, lifting one side and extending the boom to allow it to lower onto the face that is not yet worked. The other side is generally cleaner with only one area which might cause concern. A crack tapers out but all the while descending into the marble. We shall see how that plays out.
Monday, 21 April 2014
I have spent today starting to shape the individual segments. The ring first needed a little further shaping to get it close to regular. The ring I am trying to form is not totally regular. There are areas where the stone wobbles a little. I have thought long and hard about what I feel about this and come to the conclusion that it does not concern me. The world of today is made increasingly by machine and almost by definition therefore, completely regular. We who make things by hand should not try to behave like machines. A little wobble therefore is not a problem but simply reminds us that I am not a machine and the marble is a natural material with irregularities like anything else found in nature.
Friday, 18 April 2014
The central core stayed in place with only the smallest amount of marble holding it in place. Strange that it can hang on for so long. It lifted out fine however and the sculpture begins to look like a sculpture for the first time. I spent the rest of the day shaping the top and beginning to move towards a rounded shape. There are several cracks that I will try to make coincide with areas that need removing. This should be possible as the number of forms is not fixed and can be adjusted up or down as needs be. Obviously I want to end up with as sound a sculpture as possible. The man in the picture is Philip Gumuchdjian, my brother in law. An architect from London.
Thursday, 17 April 2014
I have spent most of the day drilling holes to remove the centre piece of marble from the second of the two rings. This is very slow work and I am glad to have almost reached the end. Tomorrow will need a further hour of drilling before the plug can be lifted out. I could have sped up the process by cutting away more of the centre block but I wanted to keep as much of it in tact in order that it may be a useful size for some future project. I hear from the gallery in London that they have sold the 13th sculpture of the exhibition. Over 70% sold. I am delighted. So are they.
Thursday, 10 April 2014
I worked hard on the second circular piece today whilst the expanding foam was setting on the first. There was no wind at all and my blue shirt turned completely white. This picture reminds me of photographs of coal miners, except that I have turned white and not black. At the end of the day I had split off the long sliver I talked of yesterday and then split off the four corners from the resulting square. Then rounded the whole thing off. This was the dusty bit! I spoke to John Martin about the exhibition in London and they have decided to extend the exhibition by a further week. There are still clients who want to see the work.
Wednesday, 9 April 2014
Todays picture is of the second block being drilled. I have decided that this piece will be completely round and not slightly elliptical like the other one. I am hoping to split off a slither in order to make the block square. This will hopefully produce a long thin offcut which will be useful for something at a later date. The other sculpture is almost ready for turning. I have built a frame of wood over it and am building a cushion underneath with expanding foam. So far however I have got sticky foam everywhere and not achieved a very good fit underneath. I may have to think of an alternative method. I have also used up all my expanding foam. You can see the mess in the background.
Tuesday, 8 April 2014
I have spent all day working on improving the forms and working them up to a decent finish. The forms want to be straight edged when seen from the side and many of them are not yet. I will spend a further day on it tomorrow and will then hopefully be ready to turn it over. That will be interesting. I think I will do it with the chain hoist and gantry rather than the telehandler. This will afford me more control.
Friday, 4 April 2014
I started today by removing the big block of marble I had left at the base. I had been mulling it over whilst in bed and decided that there was no advantage in keeping it. I want the sculpture to rise out of the grass. There will be a steel base that is underground so that the bottom of the marble appears to touch the grass. There will be tremendous strain around the joining of the sculpture to its base and I must make sure I make that union as strong as possible. For the rest of today I have been cutting out the disc forms. There is some way to go with them and I am not quite sure how they will be once finished, so I am proceeding with some caution. I think they are looking ok.
Thursday, 3 April 2014
My exhibition in the John Martin gallery Mayfair is half way through and going really well. I have been delighted with the response to the work and love the way the sculptures look in the gallery. As I stand in their midst, I confess it is difficult not to anthropomorphise them as they stand in communication with one another. The team at the gallery have done a wonderful job to help present them so brilliantly. Thank you all. Do go and look at them if you are in London before the 19th April. After that they will be mostly going off to new homes. If you have not seen the short film that accompanies the exhibition you might like to take a look.
I have been trying to get the top half of the sculpture into the correct profile. This is not easy as I cannot work at both sides at once and must try and get one side finished before turning it over to work on the other. It may be possible or even necessary to stand the sculpture up at some point in order to work on the whole thing at the same time. I have made a very rough wooden former to use in marking out the outline of the shapes I will cut out. The sculpture will be a little like a disc made up of many plates. I have at present a rather awkward meeting of the sculpture and the base block. I have not quite decided what to do with this and will continue with the rest of the sculpture, putting off the moment when I must make the decision. This is not quite as cowardly as it might seem, as progressing the rest of the sculpture can help clarify the best way forward in this unresolved area..