This wonderful reproduction of an original 1920’s Chicago keystone was carved by Matthew Palmer during his apprenticeship with Old World. Great job Matthew!
Patterned after originals in Central Park, these rosettes were commissioned by a client with homes in Manhattan and in upper New York State. He commissioned these because he loved the originals in the park and he was having a dry-laid stone wall made for his home, and wanted to customize the posts.
This is my initial sketch. From this I made a template so each quarter would be the same.
The completed design.
When I want to make duplicates of a design, I do each piece step by step, keeping each stroke and each chisel the same for each piece.
I’ve always found this kind of work relaxing and meditative. I hope it brings that feeling to the client.
This fearsome lion forever guards the daughter’s room. Very cool. Personality is everything.
That bronze eye likely stayed golden for a few weeks. But the just installed piece in the daughter’s room? Forever.
This cool plaque is inspired by the client’s yacht. I tried to make it as positive as I could.
Here it is in context. that’s a big firebox! I bet a big fire out there in the summer is a pleasure. If not, they’re not doing it right. I really enjoy this kind of personal work.
These stone and bronze entry posts impose exactly as they are intended to- very. Welcome to a significant place, they say.
The bronze lions are inspired by the client’s antique door knockers. You’d think I’d have been sharp enough to have kept a shot of the knockers (not). They look good anyway. Bronze is always a nice change of pace, and handling stones this big is always a pleasurable challenge. Carved four sides from a solid block.
Doing a raised profile on a four-sided form… each flip of the stone gets a little trickier. Note the raised profile, carved on all four sides.
The main block of each post weighs about three thousand pounds; the caps are almost 5′ square and a foot thick. Welcome home!
As it turns out, this is the only shot I have of this piece finished. It was an out-of-state job, and I didn’t receive pics of it installed. The frame looks good completed
This is the best shot of this plaque I have. I do like it. This is a very hard limestone, with fossils and inclusions to deal with, but I really like the result and the color tone. The layers of compositional depth really look good. I’ll have to do that again someday. The client requested a cardinal, dogwood, and pine motif. No problem.
This is what a piece looks lke as it being carved. The depth of the background is established first, and then the shaping of the forms begins. I use a pencil a lot along the way.
This pediment window piece completes the front facade of this beautiful home. One of the best collaborations between Matthew and myself during his nine years of employment with Old World before going solo.
Tabs were carved out so that they stuck out of the back, and this allowed the pieces to be installed after the bricklayers had completed the pediment. We cam along at the end an put these pieces in. It was a high wind day, and rather scary., but we did it with no chips.
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.
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.
The originals seemed to have a facial character, so I tried to bring that into the design a bit.
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.
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.
These are from the original building, and demonstrate the style I was asked to emulate.
Ive been part of the Butler University campus since 2006, and have done several projects with the campus.
To Butler students and faculty… Thank you.
Sorry about the quality of this photo; I wasn’t very good with 35 mm, and when the switch to digital happened, I went a long time shooting at very low res, not realizing what that meant for photo quality. Oh well. Terrible pic, very cool rosette. Thankfully the mason set it level. Can you imagine how much it would bug you if it was set out of level?