Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Totem - Day 06

My gut feeling was right, I had to go back into the woods and drag out another chunk of Red Oak(sitting at the base of the sculpture) to replace the previous middle head. The wood was some sort of Juniper/Conifer that i was taking a chance on. It just wasn't solid wood. I widdled down 8-10" off of its diameter and it still wasn't solid. There was some rot inside. I'll chop it up for kindling. I wasted some time on it, but I'm happy to have the Red Oak in its place. So now the sculpture will have the following wood from bottom to top: White Oak, Red Oak, Cherry, Walnut. I also rearranged the order of the heads. The Olmec head reads nicely at eye level. It will sit second in line from the bottom. I was happily rained out today. We haven't had enough rain this summer. Below is a shot of the olmec head at night.

This Cherry head will sit 4th in line. It's well under way after only an hour of carving, but still needs quite a bit of refining.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

art in place - Totem Pole day 3

I made good progress today. The bottom head is starting to come out looking a lot like an olmec head. I'm not so crazy about the middle head right now, and i think it may change some more. It might split into two heads back to back. I also added a top head, cherry wood from an old log i had hanging around.

A dilemma right now is whether I add a new larger head at the bottom to balance the transition between the steadily decreasing diameter of wood i'm using; get another piece of wood from my stock; or go with what i have and see if i can make the transition work smoothly.
choices, choices.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Art in Place - Totem Pole

I am sculpting a Totem Pole this year for the Charlottesville Art in Place exhibition. I started with a sketch. I found some great hardwoods to use for these stacked heads. White Oak, Cherry, and possibly Black Walnut at the top.
I am looking at several sources for inspiration including the giant Olmec heads of ancient mexico. I also love some of the vinyl toys like those of artists Tim Biskup and Nathan Jurevicius
I constructed a simple tripod system using a hoist to raise and lower the heads into position. Each head must have a level top and bottom plane for the pole to succesfully stand plum.

more to come...

Monday, August 21, 2006

The First Totem Pole

After getting started I was able to see more clearly what the wood was capable of. Also, the design was changing slowly to fit the area available.

The process took about 5 months from beginning to end.

It happened quickly. As it always does in hindsight.

I looked to the Tlingit and Haida of the Northwest Coast for inspiration for this 12' tall pole.

Monday, August 14, 2006

1st and Foremost

Today is Miriam's birthday. She's 25. We are going out for a bite to eat and then for a gelato cake at Splendoras.
Also, today I started work on a new job. I'm working on a pathway. Using the client's soapstone tiles I'll dry lay pieces to fit in a a bed of stone dust. It was hot, but not too hot. I made good progress on it. I'd say i'm right on schedule. 2 days to lay the pathway and a day or two to repoint the back patio.
It's the 4th job in the Fry Springs neighborhood. It started with a long stone wall at the corner of Robertson and Highland, followed by two more jobs just a litte ways down Highland. The neighbors there have a tight little community of young families living in bungalows.