Berwanger Head

Texas Carmel Lueders Limestone, 8" x 8" x 42" The birthday girl with her birthday present; from him to her, with love. Looks like it was well received!
Texas Carmel Lueders Limestone, 8″ x 8″ x 42″
The birthday girl with her birthday present; from him to her, with love. Looks like it was well received!
Texas Carmel Lueders Limestone I love doing commissions for friends. This was a secret birthday present. How fun!
Texas Carmel Lueders Limestone
I love doing commissions for friends. This was a secret birthday present. How fun!
Fresh from the million + year old stone, day one of future form.
Fresh from the million + year old stone, day one of future form.

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.

It was a perfect morning for an installation that day. Cool and bright.
It was a perfect morning for an installation that day. Cool and bright.
Proud lions.
Proud lions. A beautiful setting for them!
The "his" model.
The “his” model.
Note the stink bug hiding behind the shield.
Note the stink bug hiding behind the shield.
And the frog nestled in there too.
And the frog nestled in there too.
And the "hers" model.
And the “hers” model. Note the butterflies and the jar.
And the roses.
And the roses.
Friendly lions.
Friendly lions.

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.

I hope they both get a smile when they come home!
I hope they both get a smile when they come home!

 

Comfest Sculpture 2014

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.

Apple

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!

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!

Kelly Rosettes

Indiana Limestone 10" x 10" x 5"
Indiana Limestone
10″ x 10″ x 5″

 

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.

 

kelly rosettes 8

This is my initial sketch. From this I made a template so each quarter would be the same.

Indiana Limestone 10" x 10" x 5"
Indiana Limestone
10″ x 10″ x 5″

The completed design.

Indiana Limestone 10" x 10" x 5"
Indiana Limestone
10″ x 10″ x 5″

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.

Indiana Limestone 10" x 10" x 5"
Indiana Limestone
10″ x 10″ x 5″

I’ve always found this kind of work relaxing and meditative. I hope it brings that feeling to the client.