Mason-Dixon Line Replacement Stones

Indiana Limestone, Bronze Plaque, 12" x 12" x 3' The installation crew, after we had stood the stones up for the dedication in the Maryland Historical Society museum.
Indiana Limestone, Bronze Plaque, 12″ x 12″ x 3′
The installation crew, after we had stood the stones up for the dedication in the Maryland Historical Society museum.
Indiana Limestone, 12" x 12" x 3' It was an honor to carve replacements of the three hundred year old originals, carved in England and shipped over and carried overland.
Indiana Limestone, 12″ x 12″ x 3′
It was an honor to carve replacements of the three hundred year old originals, carved in England and shipped over and carried overland.
Me, in the Maryland Historical Society Museum with one of the original stones carved in England and brought over to form the border between Maryland and Pennsylvania.
Me, in the Maryland Historical Society Museum with one of the original stones carved in England and brought over to form the border between Maryland and Pennsylvania.
Each stone bears a bronze plaque indicating a bit of its history.
Each stone bears a bronze plaque indicating a bit of its history.
M is for Maryland; nice studio shot.
M is for Maryland; nice studio shot.
And P is for Pennsylvania.
And P is for Pennsylvania.
One of two different crown stones, together with the chisels used to carve it.
One of two different crown stones, together with the chisels used to carve it.
The client provided rubbings from an original as well as photographs of an original as source material.
The client provided rubbings from an original as well as photographs of an original as source material.
And the other crown design.
And the other crown design.

 

Spokane Fireplace

Texas Carmel Lueders Limestone 10' x 18" x 8' Here are Dave the master installer and the client's boyfriend, finishing up after a VERY long day of installing.
Texas Carmel Lueders Limestone
10′ x 18″ x 8′
Here are Dave the master installer and the client’s boyfriend Jim, finishing up after a VERY long day of installing.
Texas Carmel Lueders Limestone The header in natural light. This stone is so hard it took months to finish the entire fireplace, and the grass eventually almost covered the stones by the time it was completed.
Texas Carmel Lueders Limestone
The header in natural light. This stone is so hard it took months to finish the entire fireplace, and the grass eventually almost covered the stones by the time it was completed.
Texas Carmel Lueders Limestone, 10 x 18" x 8' Installed. twelve plus hours of installing.
Texas Carmel Lueders Limestone, 10 x 18″ x 8′
Installed. twelve plus hours of installing.
Texas Carmel Lueders Limestone I send my client's process shots as I go. This is the mantle, as it looked the day I finished it.
Texas Carmel Lueders Limestone
I send my client’s process shots as I go. This is the mantle, as it looked the day I finished it.
Texas Carmel Lueders Limestone This is the crown, and one of the last pieces I finished before the delivery.
Texas Carmel Lueders Limestone
This is the crown, and one of the last pieces I finished before the delivery.
The client visit. She liked it. I am always happy when a client visits the shop and sees the process and work first hand. She was a fun person to work for and with.
The client visit. She liked it. I am always happy when a client visits the shop and sees the process and work first hand. She was a fun person to work for and with.
I brought quarry blocks up from Texas and had them slabbed. The tools involved in the industry are wonderful to see in action. I share this kind of process shot with my clients as the work unfolds.
I brought quarry blocks up from Texas and had them slabbed. The tools involved in the industry are wonderful to see in action. I share this kind of process shot with my clients as the work unfolds.
Texas Carmel Lueders Limestone This stone was so hard that I had slash and burn even this tiny detail. Beautiful stone, but HARD!
Texas Carmel Lueders Limestone
This stone was so hard that I had slash and burn even this tiny detail. Beautiful stone, but HARD!

 

 

 

 

Edwards Zinc Hood

Zinc, Milled Aluminum, Oil finish. This hood was made for the mother of the designer. It was my first use of zinc, and I found I like it.
Zinc, Milled Aluminum, Oil finish.
This hood was made for the mother of the designer. It was my first use of zinc, and I found I like it.
Zinc, Milled Aluminum, Oil finish, Stainless Steel Photo taken during the home's construction.
Zinc, Milled Aluminum, Oil finish, Stainless Steel
Photo taken during the home’s construction.
Zinc, Milled Aluminum, Oil finish, Stainless Steel The stainless steel underside is designed to gives years of very low maintenance.
Zinc, Milled Aluminum, Oil finish, Stainless Steel
The stainless steel underside is designed to gives years of very low maintenance.
Zinc, Milled Aluminum, Oil finish, Stainless Steel Boy, this one was heavy when it was finished. I don't envy the installers!
Zinc, Milled Aluminum, Oil finish, Stainless Steel
Boy, this one was heavy when it was finished. I don’t envy the installers!

Perry Unicorn

Indiana Limestone 2 1/4" x 14" x 11" Given as a gift to his wife, head of a school whose mascot is the Unicorn.
Indiana Limestone
2 1/4″ x 14″ x 11″
Given as a gift to his wife, head of a school whose mascot is the Unicorn.
Indiana Limestone 2 1/4" x 14" x 11" I have a thing against ladders, and to me this was pretty scary, climbing up the ladder with the piece in my hands.
Indiana Limestone
2 1/4″ x 14″ x 11″
I have a thing against ladders, and to me this was pretty scary, climbing up the ladder with the piece in my hands.
Indiana Limestone 2 1/4" x 14" x 11" I like to send my clients process pics.
Indiana Limestone
2 1/4″ x 14″ x 11″
I like to send my clients process pics.
Indiana Limestone 2 1/4" x 14" x 11" All done!
Indiana Limestone
2 1/4″ x 14″ x 11″
All done!

Dart Lions

Indiana Limestone 36" x 36 x 34"
Indiana Limestone
36″ x 36 x 34″

Mrs. Dart with the lions she commissioned as a birthday present for her husband. The home dates to the Twenties, and she recalled her husband commenting when they bought it that all it needed was a couple stone lions out front. She looked for years to find the right ones, and then thought of having them custom made. The lions were truly collaborative; she chose the props and I assembled the compositions.

Dart Lions

She wanted the lion representing her to be accompanied by roses, butterflies, and a vase. For his, she wanted a shield with a tudor rose and a “D”, a frog, and a stink bug. I worked up clay models, 1/4 scale, and after a couple small revisions, the models were approved.

Dart Lions 10

Using a variety of measuring tools and a calculator, I enlarged the models into the stone. The dots on the model indicate a point that I located on the model, and transferred to the stone.

 

Goodale Park Column

For thirty years I have wanted to restore this column. I SO love that I had the opportunity. Thanks, Fate!
For thirty years I have wanted to restore this column. I SO love that I had the opportunity. Thanks, Fate!

 

 

 

dog finished

installation

 

I used to live across the street from this column over twenty years ago and have wanted to redo it ever since.
I used to live across the street from this column over twenty years ago and have wanted to redo it ever since.
The ram was the most complete of the surviving column heads.
The ram was the most complete of the surviving column heads.

This column in Goodale Park in Columbus, Ohio, originally installed in 1899, has deteriorated badly. I have been commissioned by a Centennial Preservation Group to re-carve the heads. My proposal is to rebuild the missing parts with clay and then to re-carve new sandstone blocks to match the clay.

The heads on the nearby gate have fared much better, as they are under a roof.
The heads on the nearby gate have fared much better, as they are under a roof.

The gate and column were a gift in 1899 to the City’s first park. The original meanings of the column animals have been lost to time, although we do know that the eight human heads on the gate represent the eight stages of Man. The carving is masterful, and does not resemble any other carving in the Columbus area, that I know of. We know nothing of the original artist.

The animal heads as they have appeared for decades.
The animal heads as they have appeared for decades.

The tooling on the buff sandstone has survived remarkably well, and demonstrates the level of the craftsmanship brought to this column. The heads are about 9′ off the ground- too high to touch. The wear is likely from acid rain and the burning of coal for so many decades.

The lift operator was not bad, but not overly confident. I think he may have needed a change of underwear after this.
The lift operator was not bad, but not overly confident. I think he may have needed a change of underwear after this.

The cap came off easily, and we set it aside. After we had picked the section with the heads and put it on my truck, we put the cap back for safekeeping while the restoration is done in my studio.

Note the pattern on the cap- impeccable craftsmanship.
Note the pattern on the cap- impeccable craftsmanship.

Playing with big lifts and heavy things is always exciting. Although no one can really see it, the scalloped top is textured with one continuous spiral line from top to bottom.

You don't know what you've got til it's gone...
You don’t know what you’ve got til it’s gone…

This is the only original photo the historical committee could give me. Detail must be inferred. It is agreed the animal on the left is probably a panther, and that the one on the right is a lion. The ram, not show here, is extent enough to know it is a ram, but the fourth head was badly deteriorated and no known photo exists.

Kind of scary, kind of silly.
Kind of scary, kind of silly.

The ears, the eyes, a bit of the for head, and a grainy photo are all there is to go on, but that’s enough to conclude it was a stylized panther.

Some thought this one may have been a camel.
Some thought this one may have been a camel.

Part of an eye, droopy ears, and a bit of forehead seem to indicate the subject was a dog. No known photographs exist.

This one is very different from the rest- symmetrical, not terribly rotted, and not very expressive in the eyes.
This one is very different from the rest- symmetrical, not terribly rotted, and not very expressive in the eyes.

The ram is pretty much intact, and a hint at the style that may have been used for the other heads, although it does seem very different.

I don't think anybody passing by would have seen this as an animal head.
I don’t think anybody passing by would have seen this as an animal head.

The lion head featured a bit of an ear, some mane, and pits indicating the height of the eyes. The source photo and the extent remains indicate this was a lion. Here I have started on the lion, and on the left is an early version of the panther.

Old toothless, we used to call him.
Old toothless, we used to call him.

Using an oil-based clay that gets softer with heat (I use an old Sunbeam electric skillet), I rebuilt the heads in full scale in my shop. This is an early stage of the panther. The lion is on the right, the dog on the left. The sandstone blocks are 16 1/2″ tall.

I could not think of another animal with front-facing eyes and floppy ears. Can you?
I could not think of another animal with front-facing eyes and floppy ears. Can you?

I was able to get a good start by making the right begin to mirror the left. At this stage I had to commit to something, and felt that the only defensible choice was a dog.

The eyes don't focus on a single point- they look in two different directions, intentionally.
The eyes don’t focus on a single point- they look in two different directions, intentionally.

The red sandstone is the original carver’s work. I have tried throughout to do what I could to work in his style more than my own. I’ve learned during this process several pointers from the past.

The lion was the hardest. Not having the eyes made getting the expression a challenge.
The lion was the hardest. Not having the eyes made getting the expression a challenge.

The lion, nearly complete. I will add textural details in the sandstone when I recarve them.

Rather concerned for a dog, but I guess dog's can be concerned about life , too.
Rather concerned for a dog, but I guess dog’s can be concerned about life , too.

The dog is as animated as I could get him, given the restraints.

I patterned his sneer from Elvis's.
I patterned his sneer from Elvis’s.

I gave the panther a sneer, as the eyes sort of implied that, as did the source photo. He struck me as a tease, a mischief maker.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comfest Sculpture

This was the first pice, and consisted of 49pieces I had installed the day before the opening; when I got there the next day, there were 48 pieces. Really?
This was the first piece, and consisted of 49 pieces I had installed the day before the opening; when I got there the next day, there were 48 pieces. Really?

Comfest is a big deal in Columbus, Ohio. Each summer volunteers put on three days of music, activist opportunities, and fun. Last year the organizers decided to add sculpture and asked me to participate. I had these pieces left over from roughing out an earlier piece, and drilled them and glued in steel pins on one end. They were easy to plunge into the soft ground to build ever changing sculptures, some made by me alone, others with the help of the festival goers.

This is a different view of the first sculpture.
This is a different view of the first sculpture.

For three days I made a constantly evolving piece, with the help of the community. It was a lot of fun, and there were some interesting conversations and interactions. Doing Art in public is a riot.

Circling the square?
Circling the square?

The square gave way to the circle., one piece at a time. Each post weighs about thirty pounds. At the end of each day I was definitely feeling it.

Oh my, the pins hold them even if they are not plumb. Discovery!
Oh my, the pins hold them even if they are not plumb. Discovery!

This piece was done by gently tossing the posts through the air and letting them land as they may. I wish I had taken a video of this one. Several of us plucking the posts from the circle and tossing them around. Good times. Would have made great video.

Chaos gives way to grace.
Chaos gives way to grace.

This version is so relaxed it almost looks drunken.

Occuping a lot of space sculpturally with only a little material is the goal.
Occuping a lot of space sculpturally with only a little material is the goal.

After I had completed this one, a man approached and performed an amazing feat- he leaped them al, on after the other, without stopping and without blowing a single landing.

The construction by a human indicating that a human was here. Strange urge.
The construction by a human indicating that a human was here. Strange urge.

Another view.

I took a break and came back to find that volunteers had converted the last piece to this one.
I took a break and came back to find that volunteers had converted the last piece to this one.

It was hilarious to watch the would-be ninjas try to balance on these structures, clearly a bit buzzed… not.

Ashley did his best not to indicate signs of fear.
Ashley did his best not to indicate signs of fear.

My friend Ashley came by (wonderful painter) and asked if I would do him as a chalk outline. He got way more than he asked for. No bumping the sculpture allowed!

Houdini!
Houdini!

And then he managed to crawl out without disturbing a single stone. Go Ashley!

(Ashely's view)
(Ashely’s view)

Now ask yourself- how did he get out of there? Not for the faint of heart. He was VERY slow about it, I must say.

I had the able help of painter Jonathon Ryan on this one, and a couple others. Thanks Jonathon, that was fun!
I had the able help of painter Jonathon Ryan on this one, and a couple others. Thanks Jonathon, that was fun!

That is all balance, and in a very public and crowded space. Majestic, it was. And all by eye. No measuring tools were used throughout the festival.

Another view.
Another view.

This one occupied the most space and took the longest time to make. Very tricky- and very cool.

Fred Astaire!
Fred Astaire!

This subtle piece was done by a volunteer. I dig it.

This was Ashley's idea, and several of us made it. Thanks Comfest!
This was Ashley’s idea, and several of us made it. Thanks Comfest!

Peace, Art, and good times on a summer day. Wonderful.

Sentinels as the crowd thins and the festival closes.
Sentinels as the crowd thins and the festival closes.

Ihad a great time. Thanks Comfest. What for next year, eh?

Apple

Although the missing foliage makes for a chilly photo, here the forged steel stem and leaf by blacksmith Mark Bokenkamp can be clearly seen.
Although the missing foliage makes for a chilly photo, here the forged steel stem and leaf by blacksmith Mark Bokenkamp can be clearly seen.
Stone apples tolerate the cold very well.
Stone apples tolerate the cold very well.

There was something about carving this large apple core that I found relaxing. It was an unusually enjoyable job.

 

Sharpie tastes bad even if you spit it out right away.
Sharpie tastes bad even if you spit it out right away.

The original model, enlarged 1000% and carved in stone, with a forged steel stem and leaf. Very cool commission.

Whack-A-Mole anyone?
Whack-A-Mole anyone?

My favorite 1/4″ chisel doing it’s thing on the rough out, right behind Mr. Grinder doing its.

That is my hammer in there, upside down, pretending to be the stem.
That is my hammer in there, upside down, pretending to be the stem.

Almost fully roughed in; carving until late at night again. Some days I have to chase myself out of the studio.

I've been driving this lift since 1989. Thanks Tony!
I’ve been driving this lift since 1989. Thanks Tony!

Now, how do you flip a 2000 pound stone apple over? You roll it over with your forklift, of course.

(I bet those bumps have a name. Maybe I should Google it.)
(I bet those bumps have a name. Maybe I should Google it.)

Upside down and that big it almost doesn’t look like an apple anymore. Rough out is complete.

Planning every bite. Obsessive to the last.
Planning every bite. Obsessive to the last.

I have refined the texture of the skin, and have eaten the apple and done my best to record the result. Time to bite into the  stone.

Chomp Chomp!
Chomp Chomp!

I considered biting deeply enough to expose a seed, but decided against it.

Thanks Mark!
Thanks Mark!

Maryann, my wife Wendy, and I had a good day traveling to Bokenkamp’s Forge near Mohican State Park, where we watched Mark forging the stem and leaf. The stem is wrought iron, the leaf cold steel.

Hanging with the blacksmith- who gets to do that?
Hanging with the blacksmith- who gets to do that?

Mark has welded a handle to the stem for handling, and does the final shaping by hand on the anvil. Even white hot it takes some serious hammering to bend a piece this thick.

Satisfied smile, well earned.
Satisfied smile, well earned.

The most beautiful apple stem imaginable.

lying on a bed of hot coal...
lying on a bed of hot coal…

The leaf, just getting started. I love the image of the burning leaf that won’t burn.

The leaf that will never wilt.
The leaf that will never wilt.

The finished apple, ready for delivery. I can’t wait to see it on it’s granite base! Delivery is scheduled for next week. It’s very cold this week; I hope it gets above single digits next week.

Thanks fellas, for digging the most perfect hole ever, 36" deep, in hard and rocky ground.
Thanks fellas, for digging the most perfect hole ever, 36″ deep, in hard and rocky ground.

Maryann with the granite base, freshly planted. The column was buried in a yard near Powell, Ohio, for decades. No one knows why. It was made before diamond saws were used to cut granite, as the bottom and top are distinctly hand-tooled. The column has been in place for the last few months. By the end of spring it will look like it’s always been there. Thanks Maryann!

Joe Fireplace

Up the flight of stairs and in.
Up the flight of stairs and in.

My son Dorian, on the left, and his pal (and mine) Zack, shortly after major macho lifting and carrying up stairs action. Piece is in and looks great.

The original slab, 12" x 8' x 10'. Just over six thousand pounds and 280 million years old.
The original slab, 12″ x 8′ x 10′. Just over six thousand pounds and 280 million years old.

I had the edges of a massisve slab cut off, and used them for the legs and header.

This is the original cut from which I took the fireplace.
This is the original cut from which I took the fireplace.

From these edge cuts I took the legs and the header. All came from the same stone.

Test fit over and over
Test fit over and over

I used dowels as rollers to gently roll the legs up to test their fit against the header.

Waiting for the gas insert...

Waiting for the gas insert…

The client will have a gas insert fitted to the firebox so he can have a legal fire in his bedroom. Very cool.

Lips

Sunshine!
Sunshine!
Sandstone, Stainless Steel 24" x 48" x 48" Smiling through it all, 365 days a year.
Sandstone, Stainless Steel
24″ x 48″ x 48″
Smiling through it all, 365 days a year.

Sandstone lips, slight smile, a bit sexy.

Lunch stop
Lunch stop

Maryann and myself went the quarry and picked out the right block. Maryann wants a lips sculpture, and I have suggested a burgundy sandstone. We had a good time going to the quarry in northeast Ohio, through Amish country. It was a beautiful Fall day.

Rakish light at the end of the day
Rakish light at the end of the day

I carved a 1/2 scale model in styrofoam before beginning anything in the stone.

This goes back to the Egyptians.
This goes back to the Egyptians.

After drilling a series of holes, I put in the pins and feathers and split off the excess. Yes, it’s a damn nice drill.

Graffitti this, baby
Graffitti this, baby

I enlarged the apex points of the model to create the drawing. The dark color on the pencil lines is the hair spray I use to secure the pencil line; otherwise it will blow away when I blow the dust off the stone as I carve it.

3D. What a concept
3D. What a concept

I have drilled and cut and chiseled in a good bit. All is well.

Waiting for delivery.
Waiting for delivery.

Carving complete. I’m going to miss those lips.

amazing how strong stainless steel really is
amazing how strong stainless steel really is

To hold the lips above grass level so they seem to float over the lawn, I made a stainless steel “shadow” of the lips. This will also keep plants from growing under it.

Stones don't shiver. Ever.
Stones don’t shiver. Ever.

Floating over a stainless steel plate on stainless pins, the piece will be placed in a meadow setting, and will appear to float just over the ground, always, all seasons, long, long, long. A slight smile, recorded. Thanks Maryann!