Today I began to work the finish up to a polish. This is partly to see how the translucence of the stone affects the reading of the form. Once polished the form is less easy to read as you can see into the stone. I am glad that the forms on this work are bold; less bold work would be lost in the translucence. I shall see how I find it tomorrow in the clear light of morning. I am not completely happy with some of the shapes and the way they join one another. The ones that work best are close to the alkathene pipe shapes described earlier. The fattening of the form at the join provides a wonderful tension that is so much more energetic than two tubular forms meeting each other at an angle.
Monday, 20 May 2013
Today I have been working on the balance of the forms. The forms on top were necessarily slim as there was not much stone up there. Today I have pushed those forms down towards the floor a little so as to get them nicely balanced. The lower forms then all need to be slimmed down as they all looked very heavy in comparison. At the end of the day the whole is beginning to look more homogenous as if the parts belong together. I sanded one part and could see that the end result will be delightfully translucent. More to do tomorrow. Jordan worked on the barn windows. He looked very happy to be working with the oak again and gaining in confidence with woodwork.
Sunday, 19 May 2013
Pooch has sent through his pictures of my work. Wow they look so good. Funny to think of the mess just out of sight; the dust and the chaos of the studio. Photographs can never give the viewer quite the feeling of seeing the sculpture in the ‘flesh’ but the pictures Pooch takes are getting you much closer than anyone else can. Certainly my pictures come nowhere close. This is not all of the work in the exhibition, perhaps I shall post the others another day.Thank you my friend.
I started a new carving today. The preparations for On Form are more or less complete and it was time for a new start. It is easy to spend time worrying about which direction to head in, which avenue of my work to pursue. This time I simply fetched a block of Onyx from the pile in the field and split it in two. The block had a serious fault line running through it; so serious that I could not ignore it. The carving would not only have had a very serious scar through it but would almost certainly have broken in two before I had finished. Experience has led me to always start by cutting away any bad stone before starting. This process is quite liberating as the infinite number of options are reduced to something less overwhelming as the block becomes a specific shape. I have started on a carving that employs the ‘bent alkathene pipe joint’. This is a device for articulating a joint that I first employed during my 100 day series, which derived from the observation of blue plastic pipe. Farmers will often bend the pipe back on itself and fasten it with a piece of string to act as a temporary tap. It seems like a good place to start a new series of work. I have an exhibition at John Martin gallery in the autumn.
Tuesday, 14 May 2013
Today Pooch arrived with his camera,and Jordan and I manoeuvred the sculptures into place in front of the white background one by one. Pooch is always nervous about getting dust into his camera. It is hard to even enter the studio without getting covered. We have worked out that Pooch is best to touch nothing and leave the shifting to Jordan and I. That way the camera has a chance of surviving the experience. Of course when we have the new barn we will be able to take pictures in a dust free space. What joy that will be! For the time being however we have to manage in the filth.
Wednesday, 8 May 2013
I don’t often do this. Normally I carve something from start to finish in one go. This sculpture that was started a few months ago has been bothering me for some time.Something was unsatisfactory about it. It feels good to have another go at it. I think it was all looking too heavy; too lumpen. The trouble is that the stone is not strong and I may well be pushing it beyond what it can take. If it falls to bits however I shall have to be philosophical; it cannot stay as it is and be loosed on the world. I also sprayed up the steel bases. Very badly however, one has dribbles. I shall rub it down again and put another layer on tomorrow.
Tuesday, 7 May 2013
I have been cleaning up the bases ready for painting today. The furthest one from view in the photograph needed completely grinding back to bare metal as it had been left to rust. The sculpture that it belongs to is just sold and the client has asked that the base be painted rather than remain in its previous rusted state. The rusted steel bases look great outside but they do have the problem of the rust splashing up against the marble and staining it. I might try and stabilise the rust to avoid this problem sometime as I do like the colour of rusted steel in the landscape. On this third steel base you can see the cruciform shape of the stainless steel structure that sticks into the bottom of the sculpture to keep it upright and prevent it falling over. This cruciform can be adjusted with four threaded rods that are welded to the underside of the steel box. We now have three steel bases ready for painting tomorrow.
Monday, 6 May 2013
The welding gear arrived and enabled me to finish the steel structure to go underground. The attached photo of it is of it upside down. The cross form that can be seen will lie ( the other way up) in the bottom of a carefully dug trench. I then spent the rest of the day welding up the steel bases for two other pieces that are to go to On Form London in a few weeks. The sheets of steel are already cut to size, so it is a matter of ‘tacking’ the box together on the inside before welding the long seams together on the outside. The excess weld has to then be ground off on the outside to make a fairly clean joint. I will then fill any remaining pits with filler before the final rub down and spray painting. Jordan had the day off today as it is a bank holiday, I expect he was in the sea surfing as it has been a beautiful blue skied day.
Thursday, 2 May 2013
Looking at the large dish form tonight I am resolved to re-work the inside one more time. The welding things did not arrive today and I spent some time working on the inside. Perhaps I am becoming obsessive about it but there are three little discernable dents in the interior that I will try to remove tomorrow. Jordan put a thin skin of sand and cement on the new garage floor. Wow it looks good. He has really worked out how to do that task. It looks far too good for a car. Shame that it is all done.
Wednesday, 1 May 2013
The steel has arrived. The welder ran out of gas just when it needed to do its stuff and I have been left getting everything ready for when the gas arrives. The sub frame ( that is what I call the steel frame that is to be buried under the dish shaped sculpture) is tacked together but all needs to be welded up properly and then taken to be galvanised. The bases for the other sculptures are to be made of steel and also have lots of welding to do. Jordan meanwhile has been putting a screed down on the new barn floor. It has taken him two days but looks wonderful.
I spoke with John Martin (gallery in London) and we have arranged an exhibition for the Autumn. I realise that the barn build may have to be put on hold as I shall not want to be distracted from the sculpture. I am sure that I can find work for Jordan helping with the sculpture. He is young and unconfident but not afraid to ask when he gets stuck. It is nice to have a bit of company. The suspended sculpture in the photo is like that so that I can lower it onto it’s base. There is a hole underneath to receive a stainless rod which will protrude from the base.