Butler University Memorial Columbarium

Butler Memorial Bulldog

This is a photo of Blue, Butler University’s mascot. Butler has been a champion basketball team for generations, and I have had the honor of doing several projects for the university. The latest was a columbarium to hold the ashes of all past and future mascots. I was commissioned to do a sculpture for the memorial.

Butler Memorial Bulldog

A block of styrofoam has been begun. Myself and my fellow sculptor and friend Anthony Jacobs used a large hot wire to cut through the foam. Nobody else was there to take our picture.

Butler Memorial Bulldog

Carving the styrofoam armature is very tricky, because the eye’s tendency is to imagine the form of the finished piece, which would leave no room for experimentation and improvisation.

Butler Memorial Bulldog

The clay I like is an oil-based clay that is hard at room temperature, but softens with heat. I use an old electric wok to heat the clay. Hot it can be poured; cold it can be carved like stone. It is useable for different purposes throughout the temperature range.

Butler Memorial Bulldog

Bronze is very revealing of texture. The difference between the two textures, once cast, will be very clear.

Butler Memorial Bulldog

Trip, Butler’s current mascot, came to inspect the finished clay master. Henry gave Trip a good sniffing. Note that Trip even has his own car!

Butler Memorial Bulldog

Michael, Trip’s owner and handler, came to inspect the finished clay master. We made a few adjustments, and then Trip gave his approval.

Butler Memorial Bulldog

The finished master on the way to the foundry.

Butler Memorial Bulldog

At the foundry a rubber mold is taken of the clay master. The mold is made of several different sections so that it can be removed without damage to itself or to the master. Once complete, the mold will beken off the master and painted on the inside with  hot wax until a wax reproduction of the clay master is created. The wax reproduction is about 1/4″ thick.

Butler Memorial Bulldog

The finished mold. The rubber has been covered with plaster so it will hold its shape. Each of the plaster sections has been keyed so that they lock together.

Butler Memorial Bulldog

After the wax reproduction is finished it is cut into smaller pieces, each of which is dipped repeatedly into a fluid form of ceramic slurry, each coat of which is also coated with a fine sand for stability. The ceramic is liquid, so it conforms to the shape of the wax perfectly. Once enough of a shell has been formed, the mold is fired in a special kiln, which melts the wax out at the same time that it fires the ceramic shell. The completed hollow mold will have molten bronze poured in, which will perfectly reproduce the shape of the wax reproduction of the clay master.

Butler Memorial Bulldog

The bronze head, after the ceramic mold has been broken off and the bronze sandblasted clean. The sections will next be welded back together, the welds cleaned and the texture chased to match the original, and then a patina will be applied.

Butler Memorial Bulldog

The welding process.

Butler Memorial Bulldog

John Cline, Foundry master, demonstrating how difficult the process is.

Butler Memorial Bulldog

The completed bronze is then heated with a torch and chemicals are sprayed onto the hot metal to change the color of the surface of the metal. After this, the sculpture is sealed and waxed.

Butler Memorial Bulldog

Headed to Indianapolis for the installation on campus.

Butler Memorial Bulldog

The finished sculpture, installed on campus, with the completed columbarium.

Butler Memorial Bulldog

Dedication. Beautiful day.

Butler Memorial Bulldog

The finished sculpture will be guarding the remains of the Butler mascots for generations to come. Thanks Butler Class of 2014!!!

 

Adrian College Bulldog

Adrian College Bulldog
Indiana Limestone
5′ x 4′ x 3′

Go Adrian Bulldogs! Snarl and all that. I love that my work is part of so many young people’s lives.

Adrian College Bulldog
Indiana Limestone
5′ x 4′ x 3′

I have work in several schools. I would like to have my work in more. It seems important to have handmade work in the presence of youth.

Adrian College Bulldog
Indiana Limestone
5′ x 4′ x 3′

I am not limited to bulldogs. Contact me if you are interested in donating a work to your alma mater.

Adrian College Bulldog
Indiana Limestone
5′ x 4′ x 3′

And the band played on… for the next how many generations?

Alpha Phi Alpha Obelisk, Hale Hall, Ohio State University

Alpha Phi Alpha Obelisk, Hale Hall, Ohio State University
Indiana Limestone, Glass, Gold Leaf, Bronze
9′ x 14″ x 14″
Installed without power equipment with the members of the Fraternity.

One of the highlights of my carer thus far. Working with these guys to get this done was an honor.

 

Alpha Phi Alpha Obelisk, Hale Hall, Ohio State University
Indiana Limestone, Glass, Gold Leaf, Bronze
9′ x 14″ x 14″
Installed without power equipment with the members of the Fraternity.

It would be a storyteller’s fantasy to describe bringing this 1,900 pound obelisk in and standing it up, three inches shy of the ceiling.

Alpha Phi Alpha Obelisk, Hale Hall, Ohio State University
Indiana Limestone, Glass, Gold Leaf, Bronze
9′ x 14″ x 14″
Installed without power equipment with the members of the Fraternity.

It was protected and padded, but moving this kind of weight by hand is never easy. Our lift didn’t show, so we did it all by hand. We finished at three in the morning, exhausted.

Alpha Phi Alpha Obelisk, Hale Hall, Ohio State University
Indiana Limestone, Glass, Gold Leaf, Bronze
9′ x 14″ x 14″
Installed without power equipment with the members of the Fraternity.

Getting it to land exactly right and avoiding chips…

Alpha Phi Alpha Obelisk, Hale Hall, Ohio State University Indiana Limestone, Glass, Gold Leaf, Bronze 9' x 14" x 14"
Alpha Phi Alpha Obelisk, Hale Hall, Ohio State University
Indiana Limestone, Glass, Gold Leaf, Bronze
9′ x 14″ x 14″

A permanent (ha!) installation on the OSU campus, in honor of racial equality… who gets that kind of opportunity? GRATITUDE!

Alpha Phi Alpha Obelisk, Hale Hall, Ohio State University Indiana Limestone, Glass, Gold Leaf, Bronze 9' x 14" x 14"
Alpha Phi Alpha Obelisk, Hale Hall, Ohio State University
Indiana Limestone, Glass, Gold Leaf, Bronze
9′ x 14″ x 14″

I hope this Obelisk stands for the next three hundred years, right there, where it was put. On a beautiful day.

Alpha Phi Alpha Obelisk, Hale Hall, Ohio State University Indiana Limestone, Glass, Gold Leaf, Bronze 9' x 14" x 14"
Alpha Phi Alpha Obelisk, Hale Hall, Ohio State University
Indiana Limestone, Glass, Gold Leaf, Bronze
9′ x 14″ x 14″

The Jewels look fantastic in this photo. I hope they always shine as they are meant to.

Alpha Phi Alpha Obelisk, Hale Hall, Ohio State University Indiana Limestone, Glass, Gold Leaf, Bronze 9' x 14" x 14"
Alpha Phi Alpha Obelisk, Hale Hall, Ohio State University
Indiana Limestone, Glass, Gold Leaf, Bronze
9′ x 14″ x 14″

May the stillness always reckon the long years of quiet.

Alpha Phi Alpha Obelisk, Hale Hall, Ohio State University Indiana Limestone, Glass, Gold Leaf, Bronze 9' x 14" x 14"
Alpha Phi Alpha Obelisk, Hale Hall, Ohio State University
Indiana Limestone, Glass, Gold Leaf, Bronze
9′ x 14″ x 14″

The highest of all honors, for me, is to be able to use my talents to memorialize great gifts made to others. Giving is really thye essence of stone carving, at its best.

 

 

 

 

Hanover Panthers

Hanover Panthers
Indiana Limestone
Life Size
Hanover University, Indiana

These panthers, one called “Life of the Mind” and one called “Life of the Body”, had to be removed from their original outdoor location due to vandalism. This shot is taken in their present location. The concept and overall design are by Dale Johnson, but the models and carving were done by Matthew Palmer during his long stay with Old World.

 

Hanover Panthers
Indiana Limestone
Life Size
Hanover University, Indiana

It is satisfying to know that thousands of photographs of the beautiful panthers exist. I look forward to being asked to do an eagle, or whatever is next. I like working for schools.

Hanover Panthers
Indiana Limestone
Life Size
Hanover University, Indiana

This one, “Life of th Body”, has always impressed me with its tense pose, so catlike and so observant. Go Hanover!

 

Tony Hinkle Bust

Bronze, Indiana Limestone
Bronze, Indiana Limestone

This bronze bust of the legendary Tony Hinkle stands in front of Butler University’s Hinkle Auditorium, one of the nation’s oldest and largest basketball courts. Old World has been part of several graduating class gifts. This one, in particular, stands out; Butler won the Final Four that year to become the number one college basketball team in the country. Go Butler!

Bronze, Indiana Limestone
Bronze, Indiana Limestone

Tony Hinkle was head basketball coach at Butler for nearly fifty years, and also coached football and baseball.

Bronze, Indiana limestone
Bronze, Indiana limestone

The overall sculpture is over life size, at just under seven feet tall.

Bronze, Indiana Limestone
Bronze, Indiana Limestone

Commemorating significant individuals in the life of an institution is an honor, and I look forward to the next opportunity.

Bronze, Indiana Limestone
Bronze, Indiana Limestone

Part of the challenge of this piece was in capturing a man whose career spanned almost fifty years. Should he be portrayed as a young man? Or near the end of his career? I tried to imply both.

Bronze, Indiana Limestone
Bronze, Indiana Limestone

Thank you Butler University Class of 2011!

Butler University Atherton Union Building Expansion

Butler University Atherton Union Building Expansion
Original Designs by Dale Johnson in keeping with the Original Carvings
24″ x 12″ x 8″
(two of eighteen added to the building)

Originally built just after World War Two, the Atherton Union was originally ornamented with a series of carvings similar to these, which were commissioned when the building we remodeled in the mid-1990’s.

Butler University Atherton Union Building Expansion
Original Designs by Dale Johnson in keeping with the Original Carvings
24″ x 12″ x 8″
(two of eighteen added to the building)

I designed and myself and the crew carved an additional eighteen decorative panels for the new addition. Each one was different, but also part of a related pair.

Butler University Building Union Expansion
Original Designs by Dale Johnson in keeping with the Original Carvings
24″ x 12″ x 8″
(two of eighteen added to the building)

The originals seemed to have a facial character, so I tried to bring that into the design a bit.

Butler University Building Union Expansion
Original Designs by Dale Johnson in keeping with the Original Carvings
24″ x 12″ x 8″
(two of eighteen added to the building)

The pairs are related by their organic structure more than anything else. They are meant to blend in with the original building, and they do.

Butler University Building Union Expansion
Original Designs by Dale Johnson in keeping with the Original Carvings
24″ x 12″ x 8″
(two of eighteen added to the building)

Adding my own touch to a major University is an honor. I have done several projects with Butler, and evry time I visit the campus I am struck by what a clean and cool place it is. I am proud to be part of the campus.

Butler University Building Union Expansion
 Original Carvings
24″ x 12″ x 8″ 

These are from the original building, and demonstrate the style I was asked to emulate.

Butler University Book

Butler University Book
Indiana Limestone
3′ x 24″ x 6″
Senior class gift

Ive been part of the Butler University campus since 2006, and have done several projects with the campus.

Butler University Book
Indiana Limestone
3′ x 24″ x 6″
Senior class gift

To Butler students and faculty… Thank you.

Still Point

BronzeSculpted by Matthew Palmer in association with Old World Stone Carving.
Bronze
Sculpted by Matthew Palmer in association with Old World Stone Carving.

This life size bronze sculpture was Matthew’s last project as an employee of Old World Stone Carving.  He’s done very well since as an independent sculptor., with works across the nation.

BronzeSculpted by Matthew Palmer in association with Old World Stone Carving.
Bronze
Sculpted by Matthew Palmer in association with Old World Stone Carving.

Matthew’s sensitivity shows through in every detail. We had Cash, a police horse, in every week for confirmation of detail.

BronzeSculpted by Matthew Palmer in association with Old World Stone Carving.
Bronze
Sculpted by Matthew Palmer in association with Old World Stone Carving.

This memorial sculpture honors the bond between the youth that the ranch serves and the animals it uses to help these young people.

BronzeSculpted by Matthew Palmer in association with Old World Stone Carving.
Bronze
Sculpted by Matthew Palmer in association with Old World Stone Carving.

When the dedication was held the Columbus police brought Chance. On camera, and as if on cue, Chance walked up when the sculpture was unveiled and nuzzled his likeness. It was magical.

BronzeSculpted by Matthew Palmer in association with Old World Stone Carving.
Bronze
Sculpted by Matthew Palmer in association with Old World Stone Carving.

The expression on the young man’s face is focused, and grateful. We very much wanted to express a thankfulness.

BronzeSculpted by Matthew Palmer in association with Old World Stone Carving.
Bronze
Sculpted by Matthew Palmer in association with Old World Stone Carving.

When we whipped the clay master to New Mexico to be cast in bronze at the Shidoni Foundry we had a married trucker pair. He of bleached and poofed hair, a sleeveless tank top, she with a tobacco pipe… and needless to say, the shipment was without a problem.

BronzeSculpted by Matthew Palmer in association with Old World Stone Carving.
Bronze
Sculpted by Matthew Palmer in association with Old World Stone Carving.

Horse muscle by a guy that had one in front of him twice a week for a while… and brilliantly done.

Jackson Dragon

Indiana LimestoneCarved by Matthew Palmer in association with Old World Stone Carving.
Indiana Limestone
Carved by Matthew Palmer in association with Old World Stone Carving.

This playful dragon and leprechaun nestled into their forest home with great reluctance. Somewhere are the photos of the stuck forklift, the winches and chains, the attempts to no need a helicopter to save the day.

Indiana LimestoneCarved by Matthew Palmer in association with Old World Stone Carving.
Indiana Limestone
Carved by Matthew Palmer in association with Old World Stone Carving.

Oh, the diabolical plot. Oh, the misunderstanding.

Indiana LimestoneCarved by Matthew Palmer in association with Old World Stone Carving.
Indiana Limestone
Carved by Matthew Palmer in association with Old World Stone Carving.

Listen buddy, if you think you can discuss the details of a complicated artistic commission over coffee… on my dime…

Indiana LimestoneCarved by Matthew Palmer in association with Old World Stone Carving.
Indiana Limestone
Carved by Matthew Palmer in association with Old World Stone Carving.

Oh no, of course that’s not what you meant.

Indiana LimestoneCarved by Matthew Palmer in association with Old World Stone Carving.
Indiana Limestone
Carved by Matthew Palmer in association with Old World Stone Carving.

Ok… Another couple hundred years… but that’s it!

Crown Point High School Bulldog

Ceown Point Bulldog
Indiana Limestone
4′ x 3′ x 30″

Theis bulldog was commissioned by Crown {oint High School, and I tried to make the bulldog young and feisty.

Crown Point Bulldog
Indiana Limestone
4′ x 3′ x 30″

A little bulldog attitude. I love school mascot pieces!

Crown Point Bulldog Indiana Limestone
4′ x 3′ x 30″

This shot of the football player checking out the new mascot is priceless