Here’s an absolutely gorgeous torso in clay by my friend, Jim Fatata, who runs Litmus Gallery and Studios and the Raleigh Sculpture Group, where he teaches. This one’s in the drying stage and stands about 27 inches tall.
Last time I visited my friend, Ahmed Fadaam, he was working on this foam sculpture he will call “Media” at the UNC art lab. He took foam sheets like those pictured above, glued them together and placed them on a metal armature, and carved a beautiful life-sized running woman to represent run-away headlines in the news. Ahmed showed me how he used a heated wire to cut through the foam, then refined his surfaces with rasps and finally smoothed with sandpaper. In this image her arms have not yet been put into place, but he is much further along in the process now.
Eventually this sculpture will be covered in headlines cut from newspapers and I think it may be placed somewhere on the UNC campus when it is finished. He was kind enough to let me do a little carving on the back leg and a very tiny bit on the hair.
I hope you enjoy these images. I feel so fortunate to have Ahmed as a friend. I’ve learned a lot from him. He has shown me several materials including this one that he believes will help me push myself further as a sculptor. How do you thank someone so generous and kind, who helps make your dreams come true?
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 »
The post Turned to stone contains an image of the preliminary sketch for this carving. We used a hammer and chisel to roughly outline the major parts of our design in limestone. I jumped the gun by chiseling around the mouth, nose and eyes a bit, but hopefully I didn’t do any serious harm. The next step will be removing lots of stone from the low areas in the design. After the high and low areas are roughed in, we get to start really shaping and refining things.
The high parts of this carving will be the hand, the tip of the nose, the *picture* right cheek/brow and the hair on the top right portion of the image, which is X’ed out so it will not be touched till later. Underneath the ear area will be one of the deeper parts of the carving so lots of stone will be removed there. The hair/fabric I have just roughed in so that I can fine tune the design in stone as I work.
It’s nice that we do not have to wear a respirator while carving limestone. A respirator is required for granite and marble.
I’m excited about trying out stone carving with Paris Alexander here in the Raleigh area. He’s great at patiently showing us how to use and hold the tools for good results. Without this, I would probably abandon stone. I woke up last night holding an imaginary chisel in my left hand just the way Paris taught me.
I still have high hopes for something that looks human when I’m done. I have a lot of stone left to remove and I can hardly wait till Saturday rolls around again.
Filed under: Art, Blogroll, Figurative Sculpture, humor, inspiration, Joy, Life, Marchesseault, Sculpture, spackle, Stone Carving, teaching | Tagged: Art, Figurative Sculpture, Sculpture, Stone Carving | 10 Comments »
This sketch was my second choice of the two designs I came up with. My instructor gently advised me that my first choice is too difficult for my skill level at this time.
The method of image transfer we used involved punching holes through the lines of the sketch with a nail and rubbing blue chalk into the nail holes. I didn’t punch deeply enough so only a few blue dots showed up on my stone, but they were enough to use as points of reference and fortunately I was able to quickly redraw the image in pencil on the limestone.
My instructor is Paris Alexander, a well known artist living in the Raleigh area. He seems at peace with himself, which makes taking this class from him an absolute pleasure.
When I dreamt this one, I wasn’t sure how to make it. It took me a while to figure it out. “Seeds” came from a dream, but I think also it may have been inspired by a Japanese sculpture we’ve had in our family since I lived in Okinawa as a child. I’ve made a lot of changes. I will post images of the Japanese sculpture soon.
There is a full female nude under the fabric on this one. The lady who modeled is really quite beautiful in real life by modern standards.
I’m not entirely done with the hands and a few other things. I was stumped for a long time by the birds because I don’t know much about birds. I’m sorry to all of you bird sculptors out there for my humble attempt.
I have a lot of dreams left to sculpt.
Filed under: Art, Blogroll, ceramics, clay, Figurative Sculpture, inspiration, Joy, kids, Life, Love, Marchesseault, philosophy, Sculpture, teaching, Zen | Tagged: Birds, Figurative Sculpture, Okinawa, Sculpture, teaching | 9 Comments »
We had a lot of fun at Kingswood Elementary in Cary, NC working on these murals with artist, Kelly Sari. I was lucky to be able to volunteer for this project. There are eight panels in all with each representing native species of fish and sea life in various areas of North Carolina. I believe every student at Kingswood participated with sketching and painting.
In some areas of the mural panels you could see drippy dots and Kelly said it was really important to leave these because they were made by kids from special ed classes. She wanted to make sure every child in the school could come back and see their contribution. These will hang in the Kingswood Elementary Media Center.
Kingswood’s PTA raised money to pay for a grant that allowed Kelly to come to Kingswood and do this project with the kids.
No doubt this boat is heading to Where the Wild Things Are. I was thinking about a day in preschool art class when we watched an episode of “The Dinosaurs” . The baby dinosaur knocked a bowl of oatmeal on the floor. He exclaimed, “Look what I made!!” then he looked into the camera and said, “Art.”
Afterward, one 4-year-old child spilled his snack on the floor and he started to get upset but then instead he said, “Look, I made Art!”. A girl next to him said, “But it’s not good art.” We laughed and laughed.
Where do these precocious little artists and art critics come from and how did they wind up in my class?
A father was late to pick up his 4-year-old daughter from a pre-school art class I teach yesterday and before he arrived, she let him have it. She and I were cleaning up the classroom after everyone else went home. She told me her Daddy always forgets to turn out the light when he leaves a room and that Mommy usually has to do it for him. Also, he uses up *all* of the hot water whenever he takes a shower. But then, with the forgiving nature of a child, she said, “He’s not a clown, but he is very good at juggling. That’s probably why Mommy married him, because of his juggling.” She smiled. I just can’t argue with wisdom like that.
3-16-06 -I picked the kids up at school today. We were talking about our daily adventures. It took me about 15 minutes to convince the kids I had actually been dumpster diving. After we pulled into the driveway I had to show them what I found in the dumpster as proof I wasn’t pulling their legs. I guess it was hard for them to imagine.
The local stone company invited me to go diving in their dumpster for castaway marble and granite I can use as bases for my sculptures and I had the best time. They even came out to meet me when they saw me at their dumpster. Who knew what fun you could have in a dumpster?
Dumpster diving is so liberating!
3-22-06 -My husband says the best thing he ever found in a dumpster happened when he was 15. It was a book called Modern Sex Techniques. I don’t care who wrote it, I just want to thank whoever threw it away!
8-29-06 -Well, it’s true. I do smell bad, but at least I got some very nice granite pieces to use as bases for my sculpture from dumpster diving this morning. One guy who passed by was very kind to carefully place his garbage into the dumpster so his drink wouldn’t splash on me.
8-30-06 -I went back for more marble and granite and this time I wore my leather gloves. One man’s garbage is another man’s treasure! My finger tips ache from handling the rough edged stone yesterday without gloves…It’s even painful to type this.
These gloves must make me look very, very sexy because while I was standing in the dumpster all sweaty and gross with the smell of garbage juice wafting through the air (you know that smell when it rains on rancid garbage? well, it rained last night). It was in this lovely, romantic setting that some guy tried to pick me up!
Now can you imagine if the girl he tried to pick up in the dumpster actually was single and a marriage resulted, how would they explain the way they met to their families?
8-31-06 -Last night I had trouble sleeping because I was having nightmares about the smell of garbage juice. I got out of bed to wash my hands twice. It’s that bad.
***I remember those nightmares about the smell of garbage juice. It’s actually a term in the urban dictionary. I believe this is how Hell would smell. I couldn’t go back. If you want a long career as a Dumpster Diver, never go after it rains.