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.

 

Dart Lions

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

Mrs. Dart with the two lions she commissioned as a birthday present for her husband. She said that as they were moving in to their new house (built in the Twenties) he had said something like “if it had a couple lions on the pillars it would be perfect”, so fo years she looked but couldn’t find the right lions, so she decided to find a carver and get them custom made. It was a fun collaboration; she had ideas of content, and gave me a free hand with the composition.

Dart Lions 21

For the lion representing herself, she wanted to be accompanied by roses, butterflies, and a vase; for him, a shield, a tudor rose, a “D”, a frog, and a stinkbug. I made 1/4 scale clay models, and after a couple small revisions, approval was given.

Dart Lions 10

Using a calculator and a variety of measuring tools I enlarged and reproduced the models into stone. The dots on the model represent a point I located and enlarged.

Dart Lions 4

I descended 4″ at a time, using a grinder to knock back the excess. This enabled me to use the original block face as a “true” to measure from. The block size is the same size as the wood pad the clay model is made on.

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

In this way I was able to get very close to a finish without hesitation. Knowing where one is going makes getting there a lot quicker.

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

The first one is finished.

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

I use a single chisel during the rough in phase, a 1/4″ chisel, so I can keep track of the level of refinement I have taken the surface.

Henry Keeps Watch
Henry Keeps Watch

Henry hangs out with me, impervious to the dust.

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

The lion is ready to go.

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

They will never be this close together again. The stink bug is hiding behind the shield, wary of the frog sneaking up. They get acquainted and size each other up. They have a big job ahead.

Dart Lions 15

Beautiful morning for a delivery. I had checked in to a hotel the night before- eight hour drive to the site- and had an hour to enjoy some coffee before meeting the lift on site. Driving things like this is always an adventure, and always nerve rattling.

Dart Lions 17

Although the operator was a terrific driver, nothing beats a good old pulley to really put it exactly where you want it. Good bye, lions- may you serve them well. Thanks for letting me be part of it!

 

 

Thanh Table

Thanh Table Indiana Limestone 30" x 22" x 22"
Thanh Table
Indiana Limestone
30″ x 22″ x 22″

This table is now in San Francisco. I am going to see if the designer has shots taken since the project was complete. The designer managed to find a 3/4″ thick glass top. I enjoy traditional challenges.

Thanh Table Indiana Limestone 30" x 22" x 22"
Thanh Table
Indiana Limestone
30″ x 22″ x 22″

A table base like this works both indoors and out.

Thanh Table Indiana Limestone 30" x 22" x 22"
Thanh Table
Indiana Limestone
30″ x 22″ x 22″

The lifting pins allow me to raise or lower the piece to the best height for working.

 

Thanh Table Indiana Limestone 30" x 22" x 22"
Thanh Table
Indiana Limestone
30″ x 22″ x 22″

Completely hand made. Knowing how to break down a form into small parts enables a carver to carve pretty much anything.

Thanh Table Indiana Limestone 30" x 22" x 22"
Thanh Table
Indiana Limestone
30″ x 22″ x 22″

The key is to start with a square and true block, since stone carving is a subtractive art. If a carver is measuring in from a surface that isn’t accurate, the results won’t be accurate either.

 

 

 

Shear Urns

Shear Planter
Kansas Limestone
24″ x 24″ x 22″

These limestone planters are hand carved to order; the client’s address is hand carved into the stone.

 

Shear Planter Kansas Limestone 24" x 24" x 22"
Shear Planter
Kansas Limestone
24″ x 24″ x 22″

These carved stone urns feature a reproduction of the historic home’s street address, carved into the limestone entry. Part of the joy of being an artist that specializes in commissions is working with the client to make each piece unique and personal.

Shear Planter
Kansas Limestone
24″ x 24″ x 22″

Lombardi Urns (Back)

Kansas Limestone
Kansas Limestone

These limestone urns are each unique on close inspection. They are based on the concept of Earth, Air, Water, and Fire, and the handles reveal the distinctions.

Kansas Limestone
Kansas Limestone

This is one of the Air handles.

Kansas Limestone
Kansas Limestone

This is the handle on the other side of Air.

Kansas Limestone
Kansas Limestone

Water, brilliantly carved by Matthew Palmer.

Kansas Limestone
Kansas Limestone

I included this extra shot of Air because of the mud dauber nest in the eye. Limestone is real stuff, and the bugs don’t care what it looks like.

Lombardi Urns
Lombardi Urns

The other handle was freshwater- this one is salt water. So many choices, so little time.

Kansas Limestone
Kansas Limestone

Earth, dry and old.

Kansas Limestone
Kansas Limestone

Fire, muted.

Kansas Limestone
Kansas Limestone

Earth again, ancient and aware.

Kansas Limestone
Kansas Limestone

Fire, fire, fire. Some say the world will end in fire, some say in ice; from what I’ve tasted of desire, I say the world will end in ice. Or something like that, Robert Frost memory from grade school.

 

Kansas Limestone
Kansas Limestone

The urns were moved after the jacuzzi went in.  Party Ohio style…

Kansas Limestone
Kansas Limestone

The urns, all lined up and ready to roll.

Lombardi Urns (Front)

Kansas Limestone
Kansas Limestone

These formal urns are based on a Greek original, but are unique and personal to the owners.

Kansas Limestone
Kansas Limestone

Each Happy little gargoyle says “good morning” to the home every day.

Kansas Limestone
Kansas Limestone

Except the grumpy one.

Kansas Limestone
Kansas Limestone

Fun and having fun are a huge part of the commissioning process. Have fun with the process!

Kansas Limestone
Kansas Limestone

Nestled in among the leaves, the critter long waits for the next dragonfly to wander by…

Kansas Limestone
Kansas Limestone

The urn, the vessel, a sacred and ancient form, like humanity itself… holds for all the next spring.

Lombardi Rhytons

Kansas Limestone, GraniteHeads carved by Matthew Palmer in association with Old World Stone Carving.
Kansas Limestone, Granite
Heads carved by Matthew Palmer in association with Old World Stone Carving.

This patio of Rhyton Tables is one of my earliest large commissions, and it was a blast to explore. Each piece was left to me to conceive, but each was carved by Matthew Palmer. Matthew started working with me when he was nineteen. This was a few years into our association. He’s only gone beyond since. Google him, for a good view… Mathew Gray Palmer.

Kansas Limestone, GraniteHeads carved by Matthew Palmer in association with Old World Stone Carving.
Kansas Limestone, Granite
Heads carved by Matthew Palmer in association with Old World Stone Carving.

This was based on Frank Sinatra’s version of “the Days of Wine and Roses.”

Kansas Limestone, GraniteHeads carved by Matthew Palmer in association with Old World Stone Carving.
Kansas Limestone, Granite
Heads carved by Matthew Palmer in association with Old World Stone Carving.

I’ve been lucky enough to have seen this in the winter, covered in snow, the eyes just peaking out… very cool. Too bad I didn’t have my camera.

Kansas Limestone, GraniteHeads carved by Matthew Palmer in association with Old World Stone Carving.
Kansas Limestone, Granite
Heads carved by Matthew Palmer in association with Old World Stone Carving.

The patio was dry laid and sank, and the mortar has cracked and fallen out. The patio was stabilized and that problem was fixed.

Kansas Limestone, GraniteHeads carved by Matthew Palmer in association with Old World Stone Carving.
Kansas Limestone, Granite
Heads carved by Matthew Palmer in association with Old World Stone Carving.

The wolf. The original North American bad ass.

Kansas Limestone, GraniteHeads carved by Matthew Palmer in association with Old World Stone Carving.
Kansas Limestone, Granite
Heads carved by Matthew Palmer in association with Old World Stone Carving.

Seen from above. Growl, growl.

Kansas Limestone, GraniteHeads carved by Matthew Palmer in association with Old World Stone Carving.
Kansas Limestone, Granite
Heads carved by Matthew Palmer in association with Old World Stone Carving.

Mr Ram, yer lips seem a bit too tight… lighten up man! It can’t be that bad!

Kansas Limestone, GraniteHeads carved by Matthew Palmer in association with Old World Stone Carving.
Kansas Limestone, Granite
Heads carved by Matthew Palmer in association with Old World Stone Carving.

Maybe if somebody put bird food on his head…

Kansas Limestone, GraniteHeads carved by Matthew Palmer in association with Old World Stone Carving.
Kansas Limestone, Granite
Heads carved by Matthew Palmer in association with Old World Stone Carving.

Which made the lion laugh and laugh, all laughingly.

Kansas Limestone, GraniteHeads carved by Matthew Palmer in association with Old World Stone Carving.
Kansas Limestone, Granite
Heads carved by Matthew Palmer in association with Old World Stone Carving.

And the lion never sleeps, not even tonight.

Kansas Limestone, GraniteHeads carved by Matthew Palmer in association with Old World Stone Carving.
Kansas Limestone, Granite
Heads carved by Matthew Palmer in association with Old World Stone Carving.

But… the elephant never forgets. Not even when confronted with a laughing lion.

Kansas Limestone, GraniteHeads carved by Matthew Palmer in association with Old World Stone Carving.
Kansas Limestone, Granite
Heads carved by Matthew Palmer in association with Old World Stone Carving.

All American is the great eagle, all grand and with power due. put your dink on that on a sunny day, why don’t you?

Kansas Limestone, GraniteHeads carved by Matthew Palmer in association with Old World Stone Carving.
Kansas Limestone, Granite
Heads carved by Matthew Palmer in association with Old World Stone Carving.

Unless ya wanna be a wart hog. Little beady eyes is they, the nasty things.

Kansas Limestone, GraniteHeads carved by Matthew Palmer in association with Old World Stone Carving.
Kansas Limestone, Granite
Heads carved by Matthew Palmer in association with Old World Stone Carving.

I hope the kids of the owners of these cool end tables and benches did maximum cool things for Halloween. I bet they did- they’re cool kids. Probably grown ups now. Damn.

Kansas Limestone, GraniteHeads carved by Matthew Palmer in association with Old World Stone Carving.
Kansas Limestone, Granite
Heads carved by Matthew Palmer in association with Old World Stone Carving.

Hay Mr. Fish your mouth is gonna dry up if you don’t shut it. Cool flappers!

Kansas Limestone, GraniteHeads carved by Matthew Palmer in association with Old World Stone Carving.
Kansas Limestone, Granite
Heads carved by Matthew Palmer in association with Old World Stone Carving.

Seriously… fish breath is not on the menu tonight my friend…

Kansas Limestone, GraniteHeads carved by Matthew Palmer in association with Old World Stone Carving.
Kansas Limestone, Granite
Heads carved by Matthew Palmer in association with Old World Stone Carving.

Oh, the view from the porch door. I know my work has been part of this family since the kids were way little. They’re now grown and doing well. I am glad to have been part of this family’s history.

Kansas Limestone, GraniteHeads carved by Matthew Palmer in association with Old World Stone Carving.
Kansas Limestone, Granite
Heads carved by Matthew Palmer in association with Old World Stone Carving.

The benches and tables were designed to be family and party friendly, with granite inlaid tops and steel reinforced bench tops.

Lombardi Rhytons 1 1 1

And a wonderful time was had by all.

Swanson Bench

Original Design by Dale JohnsonIndiana Limestone, Granite
Original Design by Dale Johnson
Indiana Limestone, Granite

Over the years I’ve donated many times to charities. My favorite cause is children’s literacy.This client bought my services in a live auction, and this bench is what we came up with.

 

Zipper Bench

Original design by Dale JohnsonIndiana Limestone
Original design by Dale Johnson
Indiana Limestone

Outside the Blind Lemon in Cincinnati. Make sense?

 

Indiana Limestone
Indiana Limestone

I’ve been told that Johnny Cash sat on this bench. How cool is that?

Original design by Dale JohnsonIndiana Limestone
Original design by Dale Johnson
Indiana Limestone

Having fun with ideas…