It is funny stuff Onyx. I have never really felt at home carving it. For one thing it does not carve very nicely like a marble or a limestone. It behaves more like glass than stone. It rings like glass too, when you hit it. The other thing to understand about onyx is the translucence. Marble will let a little light into it but not like Onyx. This means that ( I am beginning to work out) the sculptural approach needs to be radically different in order to compensate for these changes in material. Up to now I have not felt I have had much success. I am trying a similar carving to the walking figure and trying to make the approach suit the material. The surface is rough at the moment so the translucence does not really show.
Monday 29 June 2015
I have completed the little figure. There is a gentle twist on the torso and hopefully looks as if she is striding along. There is so much to consider when carving a figure. I find myself tempted to get involved in detail but it can often undermine the whole. There are creative decisions to make constantly which makes it a quite different process from carving something abstract where the labour of removing stone can be technical rather than creative.
Thursday 25 June 2015
Here I am back at the figure. I often carve a small torso when lost creatively. I think perhaps it is like a pianist practicing scales. I have carved dozens of such little torso’s and never tire of them as they remain an enigma for me; a puzzle I never manage to solve. Although nominally figurative I am only following an understanding I have built up and know that it is the belief that brings power rather than any closeness to the figure. Does the surface ring with conviction, or is it dead in parts? Here I have the figure walking, with the shoulders swinging one way and the hips the other. I do not suppose she will look like she is walking but something is added all the same. I put a pin up her leg this evening in order to stand her up. More work tomorrow, she looks very heavy at the moment.
Monday 22 June 2015
Many days spent cleaning up this piece. Although not quite there yet my poor fingers are worn pink and the nails on my thumbs flat on the inside. Slightly before time therefore I decided to put the sculpture on it’s base. The sculpture is on the floor so it is easier to drill and a hose is needed to keep the drill bit from getting too hot. I assembled the gantry over the sculpture as it is too heavy to lift by hand. I think I like this idea although I also feel it is time to move on into pastures new.
Monday 15 June 2015
This is the same idea as before but with a smaller hole in the middle. This will change quite a lot as the banding will vary in size to a much greater extent. You can see already the size on the outside. This is Italian marble from Carrara; much cooler visually than the Portuguese marble. Lots of chopping out tomorrow.
Thursday 4 June 2015
When I eventually burst through from one side of the carving to the other I found the individual forms no longer looked very regular. I have been working and turning and working and turning all day. The amount of material removed has been gradually going down and the forms becoming slowly smoother and more regular. I don’t know if it will matter to anyone else but these little changes seem to make a great difference to the overall impact.
Tuesday 2 June 2015
I am following up an old line of interest. There was a carving a little while back with smooth forms in a ring. Here there are just three forms arranged in a triangle. I will break through between them as a hole is always a revelation. I initially thought of standing this carving on one of the forms but now think two might be better. One form might end up looking like Mickey Mouse as well as being top heavy.