You can tell by the cobwebs.
My guardian poodle should be out there biting the ankles of my enemies however, he prefers to dabble in fine art instead. Here’s an installation work of Pood’s called “someone rang the doorbell right after the front door was painted” .
I’m so fortunate to have such a talented companion here for inspiration. Pood is also an unbelievable percussionist. You should hear him rattle his stainless steel bowls whenever they’re empty.
His humanitarian efforts include providing a well groomed, warm place to live for about half a dozen otherwise homeless fleas right now, (despite my best efforts).
p.s. Bill, you can see what I’ve been working on lately. My humble contribution is called “Maple Hardwood Floors”.
I spent yesterday at a studio space near Elon University, NC with my new friend, Ahmed Fadaam, a sculptor who now works as a journalist for the New York Times. He’s a visiting scholar at UNC Chapel Hill. The art school where he taught in Baghdad, Iraq was burned down after the war broke out.
Ahmed is finishing up a life sized sculpture of a woman which will be placed on the Elon campus.
When I walked into the studio, the first thing I noticed was the overall beautiful flow of the lines in his work and then the excellence of the hands in his sculpture. There will probably be eighteen hands in total.
You can tell a talented sculptor by his or her skill with hands.
Ahmed asked if I wanted to touch it – to work on it and then he told me he wanted me to sculpt one of the hands -to use my own hand as a model. He laughed and said I could tell everyone I had a hand in it.
I was surprised and delighted, but also nervous that he might not be pleased with my work. I’ve never made a life sized sculpture and here Ahmed gave me the opportunity to help him with his. He let me make the clenched fist of the woman.
Many people came into the studio. Ahmed was gracious with everyone. He invited people to touch the sculpture and answered a myriad of questions about Baghdad, the war, how women are treated, about his family and the meaning of this sculpture, including what each hand represents.
Ahmed has such a comforting, inviting presence. People are drawn to him.
“Night Lotus”, an intimately scaled, meditative, black steatite stone carving by Dale L. McEntire, invites us to ponder its flowing curves among angles; its rough, organic, earthiness against silky-smooth, refined surfaces; and lightening strikes of blinding white on midnight black.
Dale McEntire, Sculptor of “Night Lotus” says, “The sculpture ”Night Lotus “ is inspired by the concept of life and beauty evolving from the below the surface and enfolding into visible form. This is a metaphor that appears in ancient text in many cultures. The stone was quarried in Virginia and the opportunity to use natural surfaces incorporated with carved and polished surfaces is a major element in this work. My goal with sculpture is create positive images that are inspiring and uplifting.”
I was thinking about carving a commissioned sculpture from this type of stone because the natural white streaks in it would be key to the work. My stone carving teacher, Paris Alexander, said he has tons of it lying around. I looked at him and laughed. Anyone else who says they have tons of something lying around, you know it’s an exaggeration, but when a stone carver says they have tons of something lying around, they literally have tons.
ECU professor, Hanna Jubran, strolled by laughing and joking like he does while Dale was installing this piece in the Cary Sculpture Exhibition. Dale had been a student of Hanna’s. They began discussing the difficulties with carving this type of stone. It’s beautiful, but Hanna said it was a health risk because basically it was like carving into talc. Breathing airborne talc particles would be similar to breathing in asbestos. Dale said he loved the way the stone carved and the way it looked but he had to wear a full face respirator while working this stone. Of course there’s no danger once you finish carving.
Before installation, Dale had the sculpture sitting on its side and you could see he had drilled a hole into the bottom of the stone and inserted a thread he could screw right onto the base. So clever.
On the left you can see Dale McEntire applying mineral oil to his sculpture as the finishing touch.
Charlie Brouwer, sculptor of “And then one day …it happened” said “Recently most of my outdoor sculptures have been human figures. The ideas for them come from my personal experiences. Occasionally I experience, or think something that seems to resonate with meaning going beyond my personal life and I turn it into a sculpture. I hope viewers will recognize in these figures something of what it means to be human.
I make them out of locust wood that grows in the Blue Ridge Mountains where I live. Locust has been the traditional wood of choice for fence posts because it is extremely hard and very resistant to weather and rot. This also makes it a good material for outdoor sculptures.
For each sculpture I use some locust directly from logs and limbs, and some that has been cut into lumber by sawmills. Together they suggest the way we humans seem to be both part of nature and products of our own invention.
We live in a difficult era – humans and the earth are in trouble on every front. I cannot make art without thinking about this situation.
I find myself asking – how should we live, what should we do, what is beautiful, true, good, and important now?”
The wood looks wonderfully faded to almost white with a striding figure at the base undergoing a sudden metamorphosis -becoming a ladder reaching toward the sky.
I love philosophy in sculpture. I’m so lucky to have these close to my house.
I didn’t have the privilege of watching the installation process of this piece in the Cary Sculpture Exhibit so I took pictures afterward. Here are a couple of handy tips for photographing sculpture.
1. Do not eat king crab legs the night before you take pictures no matter how succulent and delicious they look. The little spiky things in the shells poke into your finger tips and it’s really painful the next day when you’re trying to press the buttons on your camera.
2. Bring something to brush off bird poo from the sculptures with. I wish someone had said something to me before I went! Instead I had to use my hand.
3. Wear old clothes for rolling around in the dirt and grass. Check your hair for grass, dirt and insects *before* you meet someone for lunch.
4. Don’t panic when the person in the office behind the sculpture you’re photographing looks wide eyed at you from their window and suddenly closes the blinds. At this point there’s still a good chance they won’t actually report you to the police as a stalker.
Filed under: Art, Blogroll, Cary Visual Art, Figurative Sculpture, humor, inspiration, Joy, Life, Love, philosophy, Sculpture, silly, spackle, Zen | Tagged: Charles Brouwer, wood sculpture | 1 Comment »
Here is more progress on the stone carving I’m doing in Paris Alexander’s workshop. I’m using mostly the tooth chisel to figure out the planes of the face. I want to go much deeper on the far side. I’ve not even started shaping the hand. Lots of work ahead!
This is part four of the series on this stone carving.
Part 3: Fo shizzel my chizzel
Part 1: Turned to stone
This beautiful gem can be found in the Town of Cary and it’s more than just a looker. If ever there’s a fire or a dog in need, we’ve got you covered.
p.s. More stone carving next week. We had a break due to Memorial Day weekend.
Second day carving this stone and I am having a blast. My teacher, Paris Alexander,taught me to use a point chisel to clear out more stone and to do some shaping with a tooth chisel. I was supposed to round out the tip of the nose (/me points to the square flat thing which is not rounded in the middle of the face) but I was bad and got distracted playing around with the rest of the face. He really has his work cut out for him, being stuck with me as a student. I can hardly wait till next week.
Filed under: Art, Blogroll, Figurative Sculpture, humor, inspiration, Joy, Life, Love, Marchesseault, Sculpture, silly, spackle, Stone Carving, teaching | Tagged: Art, Carving a Face, Figurative Sculpture, Limestone, Sculpture, Stone Carving | 8 Comments »