Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

For Kiwi John- current stone sculpture project

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • #16
    I figured y'all would appreciate this tool note. Most of my work is done with a 1" and 3/4" pneumatic hand machine (hammer). I bought one of each as an apprentice. My 3/4" machine was never a good machine. Rough and disappointing from day 1 & it never improved. I wore out my uncle's almost new 3/4" machine, purchase when I opened my studio, after approx 13 yrs of use. My original 1" machine had been stalling a lot lately and was really slow unless I used my bigger gas compressor. My studio compressor is very old and assumed to be failing. Didn't want to spend money on a hand machine if I needed a compressor....

    Well, I finally bought a new $308.00 1" hand machine 2 days ago. it arrived today AFTER I had finished roughing out the die with my smaller year old 3/4" hammer. I was happy to learn my worn-out 19 yr old 1" machine was the problem- not my compressor. Boy, this machine runs and cuts great. I likely could have done the 2-3 days of work just done with my 3/4" machine in one day with this new 1" machine. I've done several recent jobs with longer hours, angst & extra aches and pains thinking I needed a compressor because I had become accustomed to an-ever slower 1" machine that I had always trusted as my workhorse. Figured I was getting older, less strength & endurance and such. Guess I needed to be more observant and better analyze what was happening, like I often talk about... Now it's like Christmas.

    Lesson learned.

    Comment


    • #17
      A few more pics of a little more progress. Each measured point is first marked on the model with a red circle, then the point is cut into the stone- usually at the bottom & approx center of a drilled hole. Then a red pencil mark is made in the drill hole and corresponding center of the circle on the model. Not exciting, just work. Later on, when enough points are cut, I'll start carving the detail.

      Btw- my new 1" hammer sure does cut good. Very cool..

      Comment


      • #18
        coming along great cliffy, i'm enjoying watching come together
        thanks neil

        Comment


        • #19
          Great stuff and nicely carried out
          Peter T.

          Comment


          • #20
            Thanks you, sirs.

            The proportions on this job are very odd because the full round upper portion is like a statue while the lower portion is a normal bas relief. The amount of foreshortening needs careful treatment so the figure looks normal & not like he is trapped or encased in the stone. Very deep carving. I usually carve detail as I go, but am trying to wait until later so I can use pics of this stone to more easily explain the pointing process to new patrons. Selling pointed jobs (indirect carving) used to be the exception. Now it seems all the simple direct carved work is gone. Nearly all calls are for more expensive, more complicated projects that require pointing methods. These jobs are so much more difficult to sell that the additional income per job doesn't balance with decreased workload... Not cool.


            I talk about my Master Sculptors. If you haven't seen this on my website, this video trailer is a chance for you to virtually meet some of them in a very short video. This is also from WildGuzzi from a thread asking about interesting documentaries. The tunnel at the beginning has nothing to do with Barre- no idea where they shot that but it isn't in Barre. Watching the trailer is my whole world in a nutshell. Hope Cemetery is the pinnacle cemetery gallery of sculpture in our granite world. It's where we study old work and display work if we're lucky enough to be included. It's our granite craftsman's most important epicenter. Over the past few decades, Giuliano has become the ambassador, scholar and advocate of Hope. Very cool to see him there in late winter when nobody but people like us go there. Hope y'all enjoy it.

            ###

            The Stone River by Giovanni Donfrancesco is viewable or can be purchased on Vimeo.

            https://vimeo.com/ondemand/stoneeng/85095551

            This is a documentary about the world of granite & granite work in Barre VT. It is the world that I come from, just a few miles from my boyhood home and very special to me. The trailer opens with Master Sculptor Giuliano Cecchinelli (one of my Masters, quoted below in my signature. He loved my old Guzzi.) at Hope cemetery. Then it shows my Master Carver cousin Andy Hebert (can only see his apron, which I made for him) at Rock of Ages pitching the corner of a base. Then it cuts to my Formal Master Sculptor Gary Saasi in his studio, Celestial Memorial Sculpture Studio, carving just a few feet from where he apprenticed me on the next bankers. When I was in Barre, I worked between Gary and Andy. Gary was the owner & boss, but Andy is the one who truly taught me everything he could & made me his legacy. Then it shows an in-law & fellow carver Dante Rossi Jr running his hand machine & drinking a beer. Lots to see.

            Even if you don't watch the whole movie, watch the trailer on this link. It says it all about our world of stone and why I am the way I am. My family has cut granite in Barre and now beyond continuously since 1891.

            Edit- here's a pic of me and Andy so you can see more than just his apron & hands.

            http://carolinasculpturestudio.com/w...-03_crop1a.jpg

            This was taken at Celestial in March 2003, just after I was laid off. Fixed a stone Gary couldn't fix and he laid me off the next day... Everybody told me that would be what would happen once I got to be good enough to be a threat.
            Last edited by cliffrod; 09-26-2019, 01:25 PM. Reason: See edit

            Comment


            • #21
              Click image for larger version  Name:	image.jpeg Views:	0 Size:	183.1 KB ID:	1811 E Click image for larger version  Name:	image.jpeg Views:	0 Size:	182.3 KB ID:	1810
              A few pics from yesterday. Again- not very exciting, just work. One point after another.

              The initial points, especially the deep ones, can be a very unsettling to cut. It's easy to think "wow, I would never cut it that deep there." That's part of the reason the process of pointing with machine or compasses is such a valuable tool for training. You learn how to set up & use the equipment and then trust it. The weak link is you. Pointing will help teach the carver about where the figure is located within the stone. You'll carve more confidently, whether pointing or not.

              It gets better after passing the point where the underlying shape becomes more obvious. As the points are cut, tangent & perpendicular issues have to be prioritized so material needs for neighboring shapes is not eroded. Sometimes you have to approach from a bad angle. Not a problem, you just have to understand where material must remain. Usually I carve off the honeycomb or web as I go. This time I'm trying to leave it all in place until the end for the photo op it provides.

              For full round (think statuary) work, professionals are trained to leave extra material either on the back or in height. If a problem occurs (natural inclusion or flaw in stone is revealed or the carver recognizes/makes a mistake) the figure can be recarved or moved into the extra material to salvage the job. It's generally considered to be amateur & unprofessional to carve all the way around a job at once. Most people aren't that good, so it's just foolish and a huge risk. Undercuts that would commit the figure within the stone and defeat such movement are not made until the job is very thoroughly developed. Certain details will establish the point of no return. After that point, the job is carved in its entirety. This is a primary reason to not be seduced by the job and complete one pretty part long before other details are fully addressed. Finish it globally. The real veteran experts will have learned their lessons the hard way.

              right now, the figure looks large and heavy. The straight red line across the forehead is the approx desired height of the top of carving. With extra material on eyelids, jawline and forward in general, the figure will tend to look grumpy and angry. Certain areas are critical to convey the concept health, vigor amd emotion. Surrendering volume in these areas cannot be easily overcome, so the challenge is to not overcarve the stone. The goal is to make a stone carving look like full and voluminous flesh. Once again, the weak link is the person doing the carving. The more you do, the more you realize this...

              the tube on the right is my Torit Dust Collector suction exhaust system to help manage the silica dust produced by carving, sawing and grinding. The tube is a pivoting arm with a drop-out for heavy stuff (including your pencil or ruler...) and mounted along the main trunk. This silica is the same dust produced by sandblasting. Impact tools like chisels produce far less fine "perfect" dust that abrasion tools, but still make enough dust to be fatal. Any properly designed suction system (air speed or pressure) is generally considered to be effective within one diameter of the intake. My intake is 4" in diameter so should be within 4" of the work. If I'm sawing, I'll point the dust into the pipe. I wear a P100 mask more now than I used to. Some amount of dust injury, whether it's enough the be considered formal Silicosis, is basically impossible to avoid. I'm sure there's dust in my lungs from every stone I've ever cut.

              Dust and injury from the pneumatic tool (nerve damage in hands & hearing) are just part of the price of admission to do this work. That makes training the next generation really tough. Most people don't just say ok and jump in. Market issues aside, the cost of legal issues related to employer/employee are too high to take on the wrong people. It's a real commitment with no guarantees and no way to undo damage that is done,

              The right person can't resist the stone. The stone can't resist the right person. It's a perfect relationship. Just like any other perfect relationship, that's when the real magic happens.



              Click image for larger version  Name:	image.jpeg Views:	0 Size:	121.0 KB ID:	1809Click image for larger version  Name:	image.jpeg Views:	0 Size:	115.5 KB ID:	1808
              Attached Files
              Last edited by cliffrod; 10-15-2019, 01:57 PM. Reason: typo

              Comment


              • #22
                Nice stuff. Very interesting.
                Pugsy

                Comment


                • cliffrod
                  cliffrod commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Thank you,,Pugsy.

              • #23
                Good article Cliffy, you make breaking rocks sound good.
                Regards Dennis

                Comment


                • cliffrod
                  cliffrod commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Thank you, Dennis.

              • #24
                Click image for larger version

Name:	image.jpeg
Views:	63
Size:	230.9 KB
ID:	1856Click image for larger version

Name:	image.jpeg
Views:	66
Size:	107.2 KB
ID:	1855
                Click image for larger version

Name:	image.jpeg
Views:	67
Size:	119.0 KB
ID:	1853Click image for larger version

Name:	image.jpeg
Views:	65
Size:	132.1 KB
ID:	1857

                A pfew more pics of pointing work. Other than using the pointing machine to proof some specific points during final carving, Pointing is largely done. Now I'll start removing the honeycomb. This involves dressing the surface of the stone down to the bottom of each drilled pin point, where the red pencil dot is drawn. Once that is done, final detail is carved & completed before the final surface is produced.

                After the front of the figure is all carved, I'll have to carve the top and back of the head (some pointing work, but mostly direct or freehand) and the cloud detail surrounding the figure (direct or freehand). More pics later.
                Attached Files
                Last edited by cliffrod; 10-17-2019, 05:06 PM. Reason: Pics....

                Comment


                • #25
                  Click image for larger version

Name:	image.jpeg
Views:	66
Size:	92.7 KB
ID:	1874Click image for larger version

Name:	image.jpeg
Views:	65
Size:	137.8 KB
ID:	1872Click image for larger version

Name:	image.jpeg
Views:	68
Size:	180.2 KB
ID:	1873

                  About 3 studio hours later. Honeycomb is carved away. Most is still heavy (extra stone, as planned) but ieverything looks pretty good & as needed.

                  Now the real work can begin....
                  Attached Files

                  Comment


                  • #26
                    great to follow your progress cliffy, love it
                    thanks neil

                    Comment


                    • cliffrod
                      cliffrod commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Thanks for letting me share, Neil. I've never done this before with a stone project. Too often, something about the work offends people. It's great having a chance to share it with other craftsmen. After working with & around others like me in the early years, it's a lot different being completely alone. The nearest professional carvers are 100 miles away and they're self-taught artists, not trained sculptors. We're all friends, but it's not the same.

                      Thanks, man.

                  • #27
                    Thanks for posting. I enjoy seeing the creative process Cliff.

                    Comment


                    • cliffrod
                      cliffrod commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Thanks, man. More pics are coming. Today I'm trying to finish welding the cart for my big jiggly machine.

                  • #28
                    Thanks Cliff for sharing your carving world with us. Neil and I both appreciate your contribution and insights. PS You should have told Gary the piece was beyond you as well ! I assume the challenge was greater than the risk ? Good on you.

                    Comment


                    • #29
                      Originally posted by Kiwi john View Post
                      Thanks Cliff for sharing your carving world with us. Neil and I both appreciate your contribution and insights. PS You should have told Gary the piece was beyond you as well ! I assume the challenge was greater than the risk ? Good on you.
                      Thanks for the support, John. I've been watching the frequency of my posts and that little bar gauge thing under my avatar.... I had noticed it was showing two colored squares so asked my wife if she thought it was a STFU meter. She said it might be, so I better be careful.

                      everybody in town said Gary wouldn't keep me once I got as good as him. That was SOP, not just something he did with me. He regularly told me one day it would be "off with my head" and I would be done. It's a good story so fun to tell. Since then, he's been very supportive saying it happened because I was ready. It's a good metaphor for the determinant manner of the work in general. You either cut the stone or you don't. There's no middle ground and there's no fixing it.

                      Gary and one other sculptor in town opened doors for a lot of us to learn. Others were either "get out don't bother me" or they were (are) thieves only willing to steal someone who could cut after Gary or George spent the money & risk to get us into the business. imho it doesn't matter how skilled those people might be as a sculptor. That behavior speaks volumes about how their true character. That's why I didn't approach them for work when Gary laid me off.

                      Imagine Peter saying "f-- off" to all of us as a deliberate, blanket statement. not like he just talks, but lock the door, go away, I want nothing to do with you. Or if he came into your shop and deliberately sabotaged your work or tools, just to be spiteful or whatever. Same with Jim. Their personalities are unique and quite different, but their character is not. That's why they are Masters.

                      Skill and talent are secondary to character. There are Sculptors in my world that are really, really good. But their character speaks more (to me and those who really know them) than their work. Masters in metal are no different. That's why I preach about choosing your Masters carefully really matters.

                      This stone is looking good. It's been three nights over the weekend and Jesus hasn't been out drinking at all. More pics soon.

                      Comment


                      • #30
                        Pics of right now. Just came in for lunch
                        Click image for larger version

Name:	image.jpeg
Views:	48
Size:	138.1 KB
ID:	1946Click image for larger version

Name:	image.jpeg
Views:	48
Size:	130.0 KB
ID:	1947
                        Click image for larger version

Name:	image.jpeg
Views:	55
Size:	118.4 KB
ID:	1944

                        volume for flesh in face has developed well as the overall size of His head is reduced. Now I'm working on the neck, collar blouse and left hand area.

                        the eyes, final tuning of lips & mouth, beard, hair & top of head will be left until closer to the end. It's really tempting to address the current dysfunction of such things (aka visual noise) now. Younger carvers usually make such mistakes many times. Later, when more is resolved with the overall composition, those premature fixes will usually need to be fixed again. Then things shrink, migrate away from each other, placement of carving & proportional balance is lost , fail, fail, fail....... It's a viscous cycle that must be resisted. So short/fat/stubby/too close in general is ok for now.

                        Attached Files

                        Comment

                        Working...
                        X