Thursday, August 28, 2008

Creating a Bronze and Stone Sculpture

Cari Amici (Dear Friends),

I spent part of my day today with Philip Hoggatt of Carved Stone in Dripping Springs, Texas. Phil not only supplies stone to carvers, but his primary business is creating stone products, from plaques and furniture (lamps, park benches, planters, and clocks) to sculptures large and small.

Phil took my specs for the base of my newest bronze figure sculpture “Against the Dying of the Light” and found a piece of limestone that fit the size requirements. He used a chainsaw to cut the basic shape and when I arrived at his studio this morning, he refined the shape of the stone and added a really cool texture.

He used a bush hammer for texturing the surface of the rock. I had never seen this type of bush hammer and nicknamed it a horseshoe crab because of its shape. It is quite cool, leaving a much larger textured pattern than the texture tools I use with my pneumatic hammer. I love the look and I loved the time savings.

I share this close-up image with you of the blades of this bush hammer. When the power is turned off, as in this image, you may see the triangular arrangement of the three blades.

Afterwards, Philip used his forklift to load my new stone sculpture base into the trunk of my car. After I took the image below, I needed to stop playing tourist so that I could guide the stone into the trunk as Phil lowered the forklift. We set the stone inside the trunk over two 6 x 6 cedar posts that I had placed there to aid in removal back at my studio. I have a dolly with a hydraulic lift. She is fantastic! And she is much cheaper and healthier than back surgery!

Once unloaded, I will lighten the weight of the stone a little bit, wash it, dry it, add holes so that the bronze figure can be attached to its base, and then seal the stone for protection.