Sunday, November 10, 2013


It's been some time since the last post about this stone because the finishing stage, due to the complexity of the design, seemed endless. At the end, I almost could not face working on it. However, since it's now mounted and oiled, I really do like it again. The overall height, with the base, is 16-1/2". My plan for the immediate future is to concentrate on a commission I've received for an aluminum wall piece.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Getting ready to finish

I decided to take this piece outside to wash off the dust to get a better idea of how the finished look would be. This stone has some really interesting veining that was not that apparent in its dust-covered state. I've got a couple of areas that need final resolution and then the sanding phase can begin - probably mid week or end of week.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Day 17 . . .

More refinement of existing interior forms today and some resolution of the forms around the periphery. This orange alabaster is definitely less compliant than the other alabasters I've carved - Colorado and Italian. It seems harder and more brittle, making the subtle details a bit more difficult.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Finally, some progress

Work on this stone has been spotty lately due to a heart rhythm disturbance I've been experiencing. It is now pretty constant and saps my energy and will to work. Will see a heart electrical specialist tomorrow. Anyway, I've been able to put in 2-1/2 hrs. on it over the last two days and the stone is starting to show some cohesiveness of design as some of the major forms get refined. This particular piece of alabaster contains lots of areas of dark, dirt-like impurities, and in some cases I have no choice but to carve them out. As a result, the design of this piece is at least in some measure determined by what I can't work with instead of what I can. I remain optimistic, however, that the final character of the piece will be good despite this ongoing problem. It's obvious that the generally circular theme is dominant, but I have yet to resolve the projections around the periphery to my liking.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

A belated post –

Some time has elapsed since my last post and the stone looks quite a bit different now. I realized that this piece of alabaster had significantly more and larger areas of the "dirt" that I had to deal with in the first two orange pieces. It became obvious that a fairly significant area of the stone was going to need to be removed to get rid of it - the stuff has no structural strength, and would not be a suitable surface long term. It's really as bad as a sand pocket.

So, instead of just getting rid of the material and leaving its cavity exposed, or trying to fill the cavity with tinted epoxy or similar filler, I decided to carve out the biggest area of it and make it a feature of the design. This doesn't always work out too well, but in this case I really like the result. I ended up having to carve completely through to the other side and then finished the edges in a manner consistent with the overall theme. Side A is nearly fully resolved, but side B is going to be more of the same, so the piece's sense of unity is far from a done deal.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

A start . . .

After the above photo was taken, I worked a bit on the other side and, to get the sides roughly parallel, I had to take off a significant portion of the stone. So, this one will end up being a bit thinner than the previous two orange alabaster pieces. That's okay. I'm kind of anxious to see how I like the thinner look and how the reduced mass might suggest a change in the type of base I use.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

1st work on a new piece

After finishing "Compass" (and selling it!), Lori and I took a vacation to Montana to visit our dear friend Karen. We had a fine time and returned relaxed to Illinois on the 14th. Yesterday, I planned to start a new piece, working with a 60lb. slab of orange alabaster that arrived before we left. However, the heat / humidity combination was just too much and I didn't get out to my south-exposed studio until around 10:00 a.m.  -  too late. Montana was hot too, but the humidity was much lower. I managed to get a much earlier start today and got quite a bit accomplished. First, I cut the slab into three pieces and then started to work the largest one - the only one that could contain a circular piece, since this will be the sixth sculpture in my Mandala series, which I started last year. The original stone and the result of the first day's work are shown in the photos above. Remember to click on them to see a large version.