First Responders Memorial

Cast Stainless Steel, Granite
Cast Stainless Steel, Granite

I was commissioned to create the focal sculpture for an Ohio park dedicated to our nation’s fallen First Responders. I created hundreds of different images of people doing very ordinary things; all of the poses are the sorts of things we all do every day, from walking the dog to playing a trumpet. I wanted to convey that any of us could have been targeted that day. Being asked to create a memorial sculpture for an event like 9/11 is beyond an honor; I felt an obligation to not only those that died that day, but to those of us living and doing our best not to forget. Working as a public sculptor is to be part of a memorial tradition as old as civilization.

Cast and Fabricated Stainless Steel, Granite
Cast and Fabricated Stainless Steel, Granite

Several of the first responders from New York’s Fire and Police departments came for the dedication.

Cast and Fabricated Stainless Steel, Granite
Cast and Fabricated Stainless Steel, Granite

The figures were each first drawn on paper, and then cut from sheet wax, which was then shaped and cast in stainless steel. Each stainless plate was then welded to the others to create a large steel “flame”.

Cast Stainless Steel, Granite
Cast Stainless Steel, Granite

Because the final sculpture has so many edges to catch the cover, a custom canvas cover was made to the right shape. After a few test runs the officer in charge of the unveiling figured out a technique, and the unveiling at the ceremony came off with no struggles.

Cast Stainless Steel, Granite
Cast Stainless Steel, Granite

The Honor Guard stood at attention for nearly an hour, amazingly motionlessly. They conveyed everything such an effort is expected to convey, and then some.

Cast Stainless Steel, Granite
Cast Stainless Steel, Granite

The architecture, lighting, granite, and fountain works were done by others, and they all did a fantastic job. Thanks guys!

 

Cast Stainless Steel, Granite
Cast Stainless Steel, Granite

These photos were all taken at the dedication by my daughter Amber, then fifteen.

Cast Stainless Steel, Granite
Cast Stainless Steel, Granite

If I remember, later I will crop this picture.

Cast Stainless Steel, Granite
Cast Stainless Steel, Granite

The piece at night casts amazing shadows on the entire area, and shimmers as the lights pass through the rippling water.

Cast Stainless Steel, Granite
Cast Stainless Steel, Granite

Thank you to everybody involved with this park!

Lombardi Fountains

Original concept by Dale JohnsonCarved by Matthew Palmer while he was with Old world stone Carving.Kansas Limestone, Copper
Original concept by Dale Johnson
Carved by Matthew Palmer while he was with Old World Stone Carving.
Kansas Limestone, Copper

How cool is that? Dionyses as a child peeing in the pool. Content is everything.

 

Original concept by Dale JohnsonCarved by Matthew Palmer while he was with Old world stone Carving.Kansas Limestone, Copper
Original concept by Dale Johnson
Carved by Matthew Palmer while he was with Old world stone Carving.
Kansas Limestone, Copper

The coolest ppol is in the room. Back off.

Original concept by Dale JohnsonCarved by Matthew Palmer while he was with Old world stone Carving.Kansas Limestone, Copper
Original concept by Dale Johnson
Carved by Matthew Palmer while he was with Old world stone Carving.
Kansas Limestone, Copper

Ok, yes, the pineapples on the pier caps too… yes

 

Original concept by Dale JohnsonCarved by Matthew Palmer while he was with Old world stone Carving.Kansas Limestone, Copper
Original concept by Dale Johnson
Carved by Matthew Palmer while he was with Old world stone Carving
Kansas Limestone, Copper

Oh holy crap what a cool project! Still floored that our crossing resulted in this.

 

Original concept by Dale JohnsonCarved by Matthew Palmer while he was with Old world stone Carving.Kansas Limestone, Copper
Original concept by Dale Johnson
Carved by Matthew Palmer while he was with Old World Stone Carving.
Kansas Limestone, Copper

T^The doctor is in. Imagine that.

Original concept by Dale JohnsonCarved by Matthew Palmer while he was with Old world stone Carving.Kansas Limestone, Copper
Original concept by Dale Johnson
Carved by Matthew Palmer while he was with Old World Stone Carving.
Kansas Limestone, Copper

Hey you! Big doins are going on… somewhere… like a leaky shell that manages to land in the pool…

Original concept by Dale JohnsonCarved by Matthew Palmer while he was with Old world stone Carving.Kansas Limestone, Copper
Original concept by Dale Johnson
Carved by Matthew Palmer while he was with Old world stone Carving.
Kansas Limestone, Copper

Dionysus even as a child couldn’t get stuff straight.

Original concept by Dale JohnsonCarved by Matthew Palmer while he was with Old world stone Carving.Kansas Limestone, Copper
Original concept by Dale Johnson
Carved by Matthew Palmer while he was with Old world stone Carving.
Kansas Limestone, Copper

The coolest pool ever. And a great friend/client still.

Original concept by Dale JohnsonCarved by Matthew Palmer while he was with Old world stone Carving.Kansas Limestone, Copper
Original concept by Dale Johnson
Carved by Matthew Palmer while he was with Old World Stone Carving.
Kansas Limestone, Copper

Oh no who let loose the dogs!?

Original concept by Dale JohnsonCarved by Matthew Palmer while he was with Old world stone Carving.Kansas Limestone, Copper
Original concept by Dale Johnson
Carved by Matthew Palmer while he was with Old World Stone Carving.
Kansas Limestone, Copper

Yes, the double headed snake. Where dos that come from anyway?

Original concept by Dale JohnsonCarved by Matthew Palmer while he was with Old world stone Carving.Kansas Limestone, Copper
Original concept by Dale Johnson
Carved by Matthew Palmer while he was with Old World Stone Carving.
Kansas Limestone, Copper

Better be putting that water back from where it came from….

Original concept by Dale JohnsonCarved by Matthew Palmer while he was with Old world stone Carving.Kansas Limestone, Copper
Original concept by Dale Johnson
Carved by Matthew Palmer while he was with Old World Stone Carving.
Kansas Limestone, Copper

The sound of water moving is the oldest music. Humans learned to sing by listening to the rivers.

Creekside Water Wall

Indiana Limestone, Glass, Light, Water
48′ x 10′ x 10′

This civic fountain was a massive challenge to install. The joints are all 1/4″, and the glass is directly sandwiched between the stones. The tolerances were practically nonexistent.

It was late Fall when we put this in, and quite cold, as I recall.

Indiana Limestone, Glass, Light, Water
48′ x 10′ x 10′

It looks like we managed to get it done in time for Christmas.

Indiana Limestone, Glass, Light, Water
48′ x 10′ x 10′

The Creekside Blues and Jazz Fest is held in this park every summer. When I go to the fest, every year I overhear all kinds of comments about the park and the stone work. Some are actually very funny.

Indiana Limestone, Glass, Light, Water
48′ x 10′ x 10′

I haven’t been to the park in a few years. I’ll get updated pics and check on it this summer. I really enjoyed the building of this park. It was a pleasure to work as part of a team.

 

Indiana Limestone, Glass, Light, Water
48′ x 10′ x 10′

I was down below, telling Jack (leg shown here) what to tell Larry, the crane operator. I have immense respect for the skill of a good crane operator. Larry was one of the best I’ve ever worked with.

 

 

 

 

Creekside Plaza Fountain

Creekside Plaza Fountain
Kansas Limestone, Granite, Glass
9′ diameter, 3′ tall

This nine-sided fountain in Creekside Plaza was inspired by the glacial granite boulder we found during the excavation. I split the boulder in ha;f to make it moderately flat on the bottom, and then shaped the interior to be a black mosaic that became the boulder.

 

 

Creekside Plaza Fountain
Kansas Limestone, Granite, Glass
9′ diameter, 3′ tall

Well. I am disgusted with myself. I have no good finish pics of this fountain. I will get back this year to get a finish shot. The granite boulder was found on site, the result of glacial activity during the last ice age. AND… this is a nine sided circle. I love the subtlety.

Lucks Fountain

Lucks Fountain
Indiana Limestone
42″ x 42″ x 42″

Days after this fountain was delivered and installed the client’s daughter was married here. They were setting up the tent as I was delivering the fountain. On time. And I’m sure a beautiful wedding was had by all.

Lucks Fountain
Indiana Limestone
42″ x 42″ x 42″

Work in progress. A friend saw this shot and asked what the hair spray is for. It holds the pencil lines fast. This shot is loaded and reveals a lot if you know what you’re seeing. Accurate stone carving is all about always knowing a good place to measure from- I call it maintaining the true, the constant.

Lucks Fountain
Indiana Limestone
42″ x 42″ x 42″

I can only imagine the wedding scene, the music, the tent, the food and smells, the hopes and the toasts… Thanks for letting me be part of it.

Creekside Bridge and Waterfall

Creekside Bridge and Waterfall
Sandstone, Ohio Limestone
48′ span, appx. 20′ tall

This bridge is part of a park I was able to help build and design. The blocks shown are the actual faces of nineteenth and early twentieth railroad bridge blocks, sawn off and applied like very thick tile to a solid poured concrete substructure. We hand chiseled the edges to make the pieces fit the bridge structure.

Creekside Bridge and Waterfall
Sandstone, Ohio Limestone
48′ span, appx. 20′ tall

The keystones on the pedestrian side are carved grotesques, done on site after the installation. The plan was to do all the keystones, but as so many plans go, alas, ’twas not to be. Yet.

Creekside Bridge and Waterfall
Sandstone, Ohio Limestone
48′ span, appx. 20′ tall

If you happen to be really paying attention, you might notice this guy under the bridge from the other side. Mr. Four Eyes.

Creekside Bridge and Waterfall
Sandstone, Ohio Limestone
48′ span, appx. 20′ tall

Here is Mr. Four Eyes before the lagoon was filled. This was fun to carve on site. It was a beautiful day.

Creekside Bridge and Waterfall
Sandstone, Ohio Limestone
48′ span, appx. 20′ tall

The bridge and waterfall., complete, but the park was still under construction.

Creekside Bridge and Waterfall
Sandstone, Ohio Limestone
48′ span, appx. 20′ tall

Each of the stones that make up the waterfall slope down, just enough that the water flow is away from the spillway. This is not easily done.

Creekside Bridge and Waterfall
Sandstone, Ohio Limestone
48′ span, appx. 20′ tall

The finished waterfall on a beautiful day. So much fun to build, and so much a gift to the future.

Lurie Fountain

Granite, Pennsylvania Bluestone, Bronze
Designed by Dale Johnson

This sheet fountain (look closely) flows uninterrupted over the six feet of it’s lier. The level of the lier has to be perfect for this to work. Here the water flows into a trough under the fountain and is recycled.

Lurie Fountain
Designed by Dale Johnson
9′ x 3′ x 2′
Granite, River Rock, Bronze, Bluestone

When the wind blows,the water sheet is blown as well. This kind of fountain, blended this closely with its environment, requires a good deal of maintenance. This client loves it, but it is not for the squeamish.

Lurie Fountain
Designed by Dale Johnson
9′ x 3′ x 2′
Granite, River Rock, Bronze, Bluestone
The sheet fountain is the hardest of all to do, and also the quietest to listen to. It makes a beautiful, nearly invisible sound. Wonderful in a setting away from the noises of a city.

Thurber Garden

Based on James Thurber's drawings. Columbus Limestone
Based on James Thurber’s drawings. Columbus Limestone

This was one of my first public projects. It is still in operation, almost twenty years later. the water flows out of the book and across the split boulder, and disappears. The boulder is suspended on a stainless steel grate that holds the gravel at grade level.

Based on James Thurber's drawings.Columbus Limestone
Based on James Thurber’s drawings.
Columbus Limestone

This Thurber Dog facing down a butterfly is at the home of the funder of the Thurber House 100th Anniversary Garden.

Based on James Thurber's drawings.Columbus Limestone
Based on James Thurber’s drawings.
Columbus Limestone

My daughter was featured in the newspaper riding this Thurber Dog at the inaugural. She was five. She tuurns twenty this year.

Based on James Thurber's drawings.Columbus Limestone
Based on James Thurber’s drawings.
Columbus Limestone

Still, twenty years later, the ball balances. Epoxy.

Based on James Thurber's drawings.Columbus Limestone
Based on James Thurber’s drawings.
Columbus Limestone

The water flows across the pages, down and away. This li one of the best reading places in Columbus, I’ve heard from many.

Based on James Thurber's drawings.Columbus Limestone
Based on James Thurber’s drawings.
Columbus Limestone

This dog has since become so overgrown most he’s hard to see.

Columbus Limestone
Columbus Limestone

This sweet dog is now surrounded by flowers, and seems to be smelling them at the right time of year. Time is everything with sculpture.

Based on James Thurber's drawings. Columbus Limestone
Based on James Thurber’s drawings. Columbus Limestone

The Slueth Dog. Tricky tail.

Based on James Thurber's drawings. Columbus Limestone
Based on James Thurber’s drawings. Columbus Limestone

The digging dog has all but dug himself right out of sight.

Based on James Thurber's drawings. Columbus Limestone
Based on James Thurber’s drawings. Columbus Limestone

The Balancing Dog has been balancing for over ten years now…

Based on James Thurber's drawings. Columbus Limestone
Based on James Thurber’s drawings. Columbus Limestone

And the sniffing dog has been sniffing since the last century.

Thurber Garden Magazine

And last fall… there was this. Pretty cool.

Fallon Fountain

Fallon Fountain
Designed by Dale Johnson.
Indiana Limestone, Copper
9′ x 11′ x 6′

This classic Green Man-style fountain is based on the client’s own face. I took photos, and the client came after the clay model was almost complete for a final sitting.

Fallon Fountain
Designed by Dale Johnson.
Indiana Limestone, Copper
9′ x 11′ x 6′

I did my best to get all the channels the exact same depth in the studio, and then filed them to their final depth on site with the fountain running. It took a while, but I eventually got them right. Too deep, and the flow is faster. Too shallow, slower. They had to be exact.

Fallon Fountain
Designed by Dale Johnson.
Indiana Limestone, Copper
9′ x 11′ x 6′

The copper lining insures that the stone stays dry. Damp stone would not be good in a home.

Fallon Fountain
Designed by Dale Johnson.
Indiana Limestone, Copper
9′ x 11′ x 6′

We also did the arches in the doorway, and the keystones. The keystones feature images of conquistadors facing each other.

Fallon Fountain
Designed by Dale Johnson.
Indiana Limestone, Copper
9′ x 11′ x 6′

A copper pipe brought the water far enough out that it cleared the stone. Working with creative clients is always a pleasure.

St. John’s Catholic Church Baptismal Font

St. John's Baptismal Font Granite 5' x 30" x 37"
St. John’s Catholic Church Baptismal Font
Granite
5′ x 30″ x 37″

It is an honor and an obligation to make things that people are ritualistically attached to, especially such things that last for generations. It never goes unnoticed when I do this kind of work. This font was dedicated just before Christmas, 2013.  I am responsible for the granite basin and trough. The rest is the work of others. The granite design is a product of myself and the architect, Nikki.

St. John's Baptismal Font Granite 5' x 30" x 37"
St. John’s Baptismal Font
Granite
5′ x 30″ x 37″

I try to work with an architect or a client to help them get what they want, within the budget allowed. This piece is a good example of a collaborative effort of a good team. Amber did a great job on the mosaics, too.

St. John's Baptismal Font Granite 5' x 30" x 37"
St. John’s Baptismal Font
Granite
5′ x 30″ x 37″

The water constantly fills and drains at the same time., very slowly, so unless the church is empty and silent, it can’t be heard.

St. John's Baptismal Font Granite 5' x 30" x 37"
St. John’s Baptismal Font
Granite
5′ x 30″ x 37″

I greatly enjoyed the congregation dipping their fingers in as they gathered for the dedication of the church. I watched the ceremony with fascination and respect, as I am not Catholic. I was glad to be invited, glad to be there.