Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Marble Carving Ballerina

Dear Art Lover,
     I cannot go to the stone quarry in Vellano, Italy, every day.  Two days in a row of carving stone is too much for my knee, which never seems to heal!  But also, I have other projects and obligations in this period and am trying to find a balance among them.

     However, I have started a new carving on a piece of green marble I bought in Pietrasanta when I dropped off my new bronze sculpture at a foundry there.  Each day or half day at Cava Nardini makes me happy.  I mean, such lovely views! Many times there are also wonderful clouds and sunsets. The light changes plenty for interest.

Direct stone carving, drawing on stone, green marble in Cava Nardini
Stone carving in progress - new start
sunset over Valleriana, Tuscany, Italy as viewed from Cava Nardini in Vellano

     I often try to choose a stone that I have never worked with before.  This green marble with white inclusions in the cracks is beautiful, but as Marco Nardini describes:  It is like glass… chipping and shattering.  It is better to grind such a stone than to carve it.  I had hoped the cracks were superficial You will see in at least one of these photos that the quality of this stone may be difficult to manage.  Dead stone or stone separated with such weaknesses must be removed and I will have to redesign based on what is left in the stone.  However, if I pull it off, she will be lovely. 
Examining cracks in marble for stone carving
Cracks are even more evident once the carving started.
Vellano, Italy, Cava Nardini, Tuscany, mountains, hills, clouds, changes in light
I am always fascinated by the light changes over the hills.
      I am carving an abstract ballerina with fabric flowing up over her head.  It is a challenge to design and carve flowing curves in a rectangular cut stone.  I want to make it so that when I have completed her, your brain will not see the original shape of the rock, and instead just enjoy her current form. And, you may recall that colorful stones look rather pasty until they are polished.  This rock is a lovely not-quite-as-dark-as-forest green with white marble hightlights.  She is busy enough in pattern that I want to create only simple shapes to show off her personality.
direct carver, stone carving, drawing on stone, design
Direct carving:  drawing design on the stone and then cut.
     Oh, the image of the tree jutting into the sky is a castagna tree, or chestnut.  During and after the symposium in July, we sculptors were enjoying plucking plums.  This past Sunday in Vellano was a festival for chestnuts.  It is so amazing to eat food in its own season.  I find it is a way to celebrate change, and unfortunately be a way to become even more aware of the passing years.  And our weather has turned cold this week.

view, Tuscany, Castelvecchio, Valleriana, Italy, Cava Nardini
Lovely subtle light changes as the day ends
Castagna Tree, Chestnut Tree, Vellano, Tuscany, Italy, Cava Nardini
Castagna [Italian] = Chestnut

Stone quarry, stone carving, mountain view, Tuscany, Vellano Cava Nardini
Cava Nardini, Vellano, Tuscany, Italy

P.S.  Happy Anniversary to Amber and Alex! 


Jo Castillo said...

The marble looks so interesting. What a challenge! Looking forward to the finish.

You are living in a beautiful area. Thanks for sharing.

Kelly Borsheim said...

Thanks so much, Jo. I do feel grateful every morning when I wake up and so many times throughout the day and night.

I should have included a picture of the marble when WET so you could see the colors and patterns better. Next time, perhaps!