Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Totem - Day 35

We are getting to the nitty gritty, folks. I've made some special modification on the back side which i'll get a shot of next time. And i just realized that i haven't been photing the back up until now. Needless, i guess, because it was just the back of the heads. I've begun glopping her up with some sealant to deter rot, mold and uninvited insect squatters. The white oak, as my brother pointed out to me, will be the best defense against those three previosly mentioned visitors Although the Cedar would probably take the prize for top rot resister of the group. Anyway it's trivial, because i'm gloppin' it up. I hope the UV rays don't burn it right off.

In order to reach all those hard to reach places I have to dismantle the entire sculpture again. (200th time) In this picture I have the second head suspended above the bottom head so that i can reach the under carriage. The rest of the seven heads are laying on the ground waiting for a second coating.
I'll need to construct a base to fasten the sculpture onto the cement footer Art in Place is providing. I'll do that using a presure treated wood alternative from a local Green Building supplier in town called Nature Neutral They have some great supplies, check 'em out. The next photo is the spot where i'll install the sculpture and it will stay for the next year unless purchased. See how close it is to the road! yikes.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

totem - Day 31

The past few days I have been sitting and watching the carving. I'm just trying to take it in for all its worth. I'm sharpening my chisels and gauges doing a bit of refinement here and there. Mostly though the process has brought me to a point where there will be a just a few more touches. The faces are, i believe, in a good state between character/anime, like a biker gang and ancient warriors stacked up in memorial.

One thought has been to carve a single face in back of the third head. It is both the only piece of wood that has enough girth to accomodate a rear looking face and it is the middle of the sculpture. I think it will pose balance for the viewer as they fly past the sculpture. It is to be placed in the median on 5th st extnd. speed limit 45mph. a bit too quick for my taste, but what can i do. next year.

Monday, September 18, 2006

totem - Day 26

Nearly a month after i started and i am finis.... hold on..i just had a great day of carving. Yesterday i was able to get three heads started and nearly finished. today after some juggling, i fit those heads, pegged them together with oak dowels and began refining them.The top head (the 7th) is a spitting image of the second head, just in miniature. Yes, its seven heads now.
As Harris likes to say, "that's a nice pile of heads you got there."

The most challenging part of the process right now is fitting and pegging the heads together so they are secure and stable. Each head has to be levelled on the top and bottom and then the hole must be bored straight and square to the surface. Doing that is a bit tricky. But the top four heads are fit and secure and now i must address the bottom three monsters. the bottom head weighs in close to 600 lbs.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

totem - Day 22

Looks like rain and clouds again today, so there might not be too much progress.
But i did stack all the heads i have so far.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

totem - Day 21

So far so good. I've refined all the heads that under way. I'm considering the 5th and possibly a 6th head. It'll have a russian doll effect maybe. i'm running ideas through my head. I also have to consider the location where it will be placed. Right now it looks like 5th street in the median. To me, it seems a fast to view the sculpture and not enough frontal viewing. The heads having faces require a 270 degree view from the front. But that is jsut the opinion of the sculptor.

I've decided to put in some slightly futuristic elements on the sculpture. This head (pictured above) has goggles pushed up on his helmet. and the bottom head has a microphone attached to his helmet. they are slight details, but necessary to position the sculpture in both the past with the Olmec and the future with technologica.
The last few days have been great but the rain and slightly drizzly weather has kept me from working any long hours out there. Mostly i've just had the sander and the chisels out.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Totem - Day 13

Today it rained, the sun came out, it rained. Each time I put the tools away and brought them back out I thought that would be it for the day. Anyway i managed to get a good amount of time in.
I thought I might describe some of the tools I use daily. I have this 4 1/2" Dewault angle grinder with Lancelot blades and disks. These disks allow me to carve out the contours of the form quickly and smoothly. I also use a Poulan 220 with 16" bar for little straight cutting and shaping and a Stihl 440 with a 20" bar for the big cutting.

Generally the process goes from big tools to little ones, but i'm always dancing between the range of saws, grinders, chisels, and gouges. I love my set of Marples chisels. They stay sharp a long time and perform many tasks. My drill is a Bosch 18 volt cordless. I used it today along with a 17" ship auger bit to bore the holes for the steel connector pins. What a strong drill! It hasn't failed me yet.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Totem - Day 11

Day 11 and I have 4 heads fit. After a couple days of Tropical Storm Ernesto rain and winds, I'll get back out there today. My deadline is in October and I have a ways to before I install the sculpture.