Little black number

"Night Lotus" by Dale McEntire -photo by Kim Marchesseault 

“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 beautiDale McEntire applies mineral oil to sculpture, ful, 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.

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2 Responses

  1. Thanks for these last five posts of yours, kimiam. It was very interesting to see what works were presented at that sculpture show, and which got the prize.

  2. Swallows, thank you!

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