Following such an intense period of carving I am happy to be working on the barn construction once again. We had a falling down corrugated iron barn which we pulled down. The plan is to replace it with something much better. We built the footings for a straw bale construction last year and are now in the process of building the oak frames for the roof. Two are constructed and you can see a third in the foreground. Working with green oak is wonderful as it is not hard and chopping into it is relatively easy. Woodworking at its best to my mind.
Tuesday, 27 May 2014
The sculptures are now installed at Asthall manor ready for the exhibition which opens on 8th June. I am delighted with the way they look standing. The sculpture seen here plays wonderful tricks with the eye as it’s many facets change in the light and make one side seem to advance whilst the other recedes. It is always a joy to have no visible base and for the sculpture to stand on its own in the landscape. This lovely picture is taken by Pooch.
Wednesday, 14 May 2014
The bees are buzzing and suddenly there is real warmth in the air. I wore too many layers out of habit and kept needing to take another layer off. I moved onto the other of the big round sculptures today and worked on the second side of the forms. On measuring the thickness of the forms I discovered that they differed in thickness considerably from one side to the other. Most of the day was spent re-balancing these forms out. I am happy for the forms to thicken a little as they get nearer the ground but do not want a variation from side to side. Tomorrow should see both these carvings completed.
Monday, 12 May 2014
I have gone round and round today, trying to get those forms looking like they belong together. When they are looking good from one angle I see a wobble from another perspective. I moved on to the roughest of the sanding grades at lunch however and continue to fine tune the forms with the sandpaper albeit to a lesser extent. With the sandpaper the colours of the marble begin to be more visible. It looks fantastic and I am now really happy with the way this sculpture is looking.
Friday, 9 May 2014
Lining up these forms is not easy. You can see from the picture that some of the discs have quite a bend to them. I hope that as I work my way towards their final position I will be able to push them into being more or less straight edged and free flowing. Now that I have the forms evolving I feel less panicked about the little time remaining. I dropped off the steel sub soil bases at the galvanizers this morning before starting work. They should be ready for collection after the weekend.
Wednesday, 7 May 2014
I am not panicking yet but there suddenly seems a great deal to do before these sculptures are delivered in ten days time. I know that this side will take most of that time up. Looking at it as you see it in the picture sets my nerves jangling but a good day tomorrow will have the forms roughed out. I finished gluing in the pins today and then had to take several of the machined threads back to the engineers as they had become too tight. We ran the die over them (the tool for cutting threads on a shaft) and got them loose again. I had probably allowed some steel particles into the threads which soon tears them up once the nut and thread rub against one another. I must try to keep the threads clean to avoid the problem in the future. You can see the three pins with their additional shoulders all glued in.
Tuesday, 6 May 2014
I have done lots of welding again today. I do not win any prizes for beauty in my welding but I think it is strong enough. I admire people that can do it really well. Practice makes perfect I suppose. I have glued the first of the stainless rods into the marble. The rods have to be stainless as regular mild steel would rust and split the marble. Stainless steel will never rust. The stainless steel you see here will be hidden underground. I have cogitated a good deal about the best way to hold these carvings upright and in the end have decided to simply insert three huge ‘pins’ into each carving. I am relying on all the stiffness coming from the stainless steel.Three pins 42mm thick will be immensely strong however. You can see that I have added to the stiffness further by adding little shoulders to the joint.It is always helpful to have a sculpture with a broad base as it is easy to make it stable. A sculpture with a small base like this is difficult, like trying to stand up on a rolling ship on one leg.
Monday, 5 May 2014
I have made both bases for the circular sculptures. They need to be sent off to be galvanised which takes a week, so the sooner I get them off the better. Working out the sizes of the base is not that easy. With the sculpture standing two meters high I suppose I am trying to make sure it cannot be blown over by the wind. If some idiots tried to push it over it might be best if the sub soil base was up rooted before the marble split. Neither outcome is desirable of course and I think these sculptures will be best going to locations where there are no idiots looking to push over sculptures.