Mythical Creatures

Indiana Limestone 7'-6" x 4'-6" x 12" (not including base) Lewis Center, Ohio Delaware County Library System Children's Garden
Indiana Limestone
7′-6″ x 4′-6″ x 12″ (not including base)
Lewis Center, Ohio
Delaware County Library System Children’s Garden

A local resident left part of her estate to establish a children’s reading garden in the rapidly developing Delaware County Library System. I am honored to have been the first selected. I hope my work inspires young readers for generations to come.

Indiana Limestone 7'-6" x 4'-6" x 12" Lewis Center, Ohio Delaware County Library System
Indiana Limestone
7′-6″ x 4′-6″ x 12″
Lewis Center, Ohio
Delaware County Library System

I thank the Delaware County Library for their complete gift of artistic freedom. This piece was an unusual pleasure to create.

Indiana Limestone 7'-6" x 4'-6" x 12" Lewis Center, Ohio Delaware County Library System
Indiana Limestone
7′-6″ x 4′-6″ x 12″
Lewis Center, Ohio
Delaware County Library System

The kiss; the two sides unite.

Indiana Limestone 7'-6" x 4'-6" x 12" Lewis Center, Ohio Delaware County Library System
Indiana Limestone
7′-6″ x 4′-6″ x 12″
Lewis Center, Ohio
Delaware County Library System

The hammer blow… from thus, this. Magic. Reality. Here.

Indiana Limestone 7'-6" x 4'-6" x 12" Lewis Center, Ohio Delaware County Library System
Indiana Limestone
7′-6″ x 4′-6″ x 12″
Lewis Center, Ohio
Delaware County Library System

The exploring fish, unnerved… a marvel of the mysterious sea.

Indiana Limestone 7'-6" x 4'-6" x 12" Lewis Center, Ohio Delaware County Library System
Indiana Limestone
7′-6″ x 4′-6″ x 12″
Lewis Center, Ohio
Delaware County Library System

Forest spirits making sure the gold of legends is taken care of… and one of the Leprechauns has given up his duty for a higher cause.

Indiana Limestone 7'-6" x 4'-6" x 12" Lewis Center, Ohio Delaware County Library System
Indiana Limestone
7′-6″ x 4′-6″ x 12″
Lewis Center, Ohio
Delaware County Library System

The tunnel of myth… dare you?

 

All Life

All Life Indiana Limestone 8' x 3' x 3' (not including base) Stainless Steel Bearing
All Life
Indiana Limestone
8′ x 3′ x 3′ (not including base)
Stainless Steel Bearing

Created for an Integrative wellness center, this piece is designed to be interactive. Viewers can rotate the entire piece on a ball bearing placed under the base.

All Life Indiana Limestone 8' x 3' x 3' (not including base) Stainless Steel Bearing
All Life
Indiana Limestone
8′ x 3′ x 3′ (not including base)
Stainless Steel Bearing

This detail demonstrates the texture, revealing how the forms are “drawn” in space.

All Life Indiana Limestone 8' x 3' x 3' (not including base) Stainless Steel Bearing
All Life
Indiana Limestone
8′ x 3′ x 3′ (not including base)
Stainless Steel Bearing

Piercing all the way through a block of this size is very difficult, but the dramatic result is worth the effort.

All Life Indiana Limestone 8' x 3' x 3' (not including base) Stainless Steel Bearing
All Life
Indiana Limestone
8′ x 3′ x 3′ (not including base)
Stainless Steel Bearing

The original block weighed 10,500 pounds. Finished, it is around 5,000. It is an interesting feeling to rotate that much weight.

All Life Indiana Limestone 8' x 3' x 3' (not including base) Stainless Steel Bearing
All Life
Indiana Limestone
8′ x 3′ x 3′ (not including base)
Stainless Steel Bearing

The piece is always sightly different in the landscape, as seen from the main building.

All Life Indiana Limestone 8' x 3' x 3' (not including base) Stainless Steel Bearing
All Life
Indiana Limestone
8′ x 3′ x 3′ (not including base)
Stainless Steel Bearing

The depth of field of the piece is well shown in this detail.

All Life Indiana Limestone 8' x 3' x 3' (not including base) Stainless Steel Bearing
All Life
Indiana Limestone
8′ x 3′ x 3′ (not including base)
Stainless Steel Bearing

This piece was created over the winter of 2013-2014, and installed in the spring of 2014. It was a joy, despite the intense winter, to create this piece.

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!

Downtown Head

 

Downtown Head Granite, Limestone, Steel, Bearing 7'-6" x 3' x 3'
Downtown Head
Granite, Limestone, Steel, Bearing
7′-6″ x 3′ x 3′

Angela Meleca Gallery in Columbus, Ohio, hosts Downtown Head and my paintings, including 8-12-2013 in the window.

Downtown Head Granite, Limestone, Steel, Bearing 7'-6" x 3' x 3'
Downtown Head
Granite, Limestone, Steel, Bearing
7′-6″ x 3′ x 3′

Angela and Dale, after a successful installation. This piece is available. Shipment to anywhere, no problem.

Downtown Head Granite, Limestone, Steel, Bearing 7'-6" x 3' x 3'
Downtown Head
Granite, Limestone, Steel, Bearing
7′-6″ x 3′ x 3′

The tradition of the colossal head is one that includes all eras and all cultures, and has always been a form of honor to the subject. This head is on a bearing, and can be turned by any passing citizen.

 

Downtown Head Granite, Limestone, Steel, Bearing 7'-6" x 3' x 3'
Downtown Head
Granite, Limestone, Steel, Bearing
7′-6″ x 3′ x 3′

Making the great accessible is what it’s all about.

Downtown Head Granite, Limestone, Steel, Bearing 7'-6" x 3' x 3'
Downtown Head
Granite, Limestone, Steel, Bearing
7′-6″ x 3′ x 3′

Fully looking in- or away- it depends on where you see it from, Downtown Head gets attention either way.

Downtown Head Granite, Limestone, Steel, Bearing 7'-6" x 3' x 3'
Downtown Head
Granite, Limestone, Steel, Bearing
7′-6″ x 3′ x 3′

I’ve always liked this shot of the sculpture and its reflection. This is Downtown Columbus, within a couple blocks of the ┬áStatehouse. Very site relevant.

Downtown Head Granite, Limestone, Steel, Bearing 7'-6" x 3' x 3'
Downtown Head
Granite, Limestone, Steel, Bearing
7′-6″ x 3′ x 3′

Yes, driving big round things around requires a bit of preparation. I love the expressions of people as they pass me on the highway.

Downtown Head Granite, Limestone, Steel, Bearing 7'-6" x 3' x 3'
Downtown Head
Granite, Limestone, Steel, Bearing
7′-6″ x 3′ x 3′

In the studio, ready for delivery.

Downtown Head Granite, Limestone, Steel, Bearing 7'-6" x 3' x 3'
Downtown Head
Granite, Limestone, Steel, Bearing
7′-6″ x 3′ x 3′

Henry the St. Bernard is obviously impressed. Floored, really.

Downtown Head Granite, Limestone, Steel, Bearing 7'-6" x 3' x 3'
Downtown Head (work in progress)
Granite, Limestone, Steel, Bearing
7′-6″ x 3′ x 3′
Downtown Head Granite, Limestone, Steel, Bearing 7'-6" x 3' x 3'
Downtown Head (work in progress)
Granite, Limestone, Steel, Bearing
7′-6″ x 3′ x 3′

Rough out complete; the form begins to take shape.

Downtown Head Granite, Limestone, Steel, Bearing 7'-6" x 3' x 3'
Downtown Head (work in progress)
Granite, Limestone, Steel, Bearing
7′-6″ x 3′ x 3′

Rough out complete.

Downtown Head Granite, Limestone, Steel, Bearing 7'-6" x 3' x 3'
Downtown Head (work in progress)
Granite, Limestone, Steel, Bearing
7′-6″ x 3′ x 3′

It is critical to work at the right height. The back and shoulders and arms and hands and legs take a beating badly enough without complicating it by working too high or too low.

Downtown Head Granite, Limestone, Steel, Bearing 7'-6" x 3' x 3'
Downtown Head (work in progress)
Granite, Limestone, Steel, Bearing
7′-6″ x 3′ x 3′

I like to put a head in a block kitty corner. It helps to orient myself that way.

Downtown Head Granite, Limestone, Steel, Bearing 7'-6" x 3' x 3'
Downtown Head (work in progress)
Granite, Limestone, Steel, Bearing
7′-6″ x 3′ x 3′

At this stage I almost went for the Bishop’s Hat look, but that wasn’t what I was after. But it always helps to keep an open mind, right?

Downtown Head Granite, Limestone, Steel, Bearing 7'-6" x 3' x 3'
Downtown Head
Granite, Limestone, Steel, Bearing
7′-6″ x 3′ x 3′

In the beginning, there was the first chip. It takes a lot of chips to get ahead.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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!

Head and Shoulders

Head and Shoulders Limestone, Steel, Wood, Oil Paint
Head and Shoulders
Limestone, Steel, Wood, Oil Paint
7′-6″ x 3″ x 3″

This piece was made specifically to be able to get through an ordinary door, and then to get bigger.  Scale is everything in sculpture.

Head and Shoulders Limestone, Steel, Wood, Oil Paint 7'-6" x 3" x 3"
Head and Shoulders
Limestone, Steel, Wood, Oil Paint
7′-6″ x 3″ x 3″

And a little empathy. Empathy is every thing in sculpture.

Head and Shoulders Limestone, Steel, Wood, Oil Paint 7'-6" x 3" x 3"
Head and Shoulders
Limestone, Steel, Wood, Oil Paint
7′-6″ x 3″ x 3″

And a little skill. It doesn’t count if it is a big pile of hogwash.

Head and Shoulders Limestone, Steel, Wood, Oil Paint 7'-6" x 3" x 3"
Head and Shoulders
Limestone, Steel, Wood, Oil Paint
7′-6″ x 3″ x 3″

Expressions… captured… are everything.

Head and Shoulders Limestone, Steel, Wood, Oil Paint 7'-6" x 3" x 3"
Head and Shoulders
Limestone, Steel, Wood, Oil Paint
7′-6″ x 3″ x 3″

The beginning. The weight of the future behind.

 

 

 

 

 

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?

Lips

Carving is complete.
Carving is complete.

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!

Self Portrait

Self Portrait
Kansas Limestone
7′-6″ x 2′-6″ x 18″

This is a prime example of carving from a model using the Renaissance measuring tool called the macchianetti di punto. This is me forever, standing on top of it all, carved in stone. And I can do the same for you.

Self Portrait
Kansas Limestone
7′-6″ x 2′-6″ x 18″

Every little bit counts. Accuracy is everything.

Self Portrait
Kansas Limestone
7′-6″ x 2′-6″ x 18″

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The fish were carved in the coldest days of winter, and i wore my warmest gear while carving. After I’d finished with the fish I went for a wander and threw them around for the coyotes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Self Portrait
Kansas Limestone
7′-6″ x 2′-6″ x 18″

And a good laugh was had…

 

 

Self Portrait
Kansas Limestone
7′-6″ x 2′-6″ x 18″

Great shot of what things are like in the studio. I SO remember these days. I knew I was on a roll.

Self Portrait
Kansas Limestone
7′-6″ x 2′-6″ x 18″

 

This too. what a fun shot. Who gets to carve stone like this?

Self Portrait
Kansas Limestone
7′-6″ x 2′-6″ x 18″

This piece is forever carved in s=tone and an example of what a stone portrait can be. this is me. Pay me to do you, and I will, to the best of my ability.

Clock

Clock
Kansas Limestone, Chiseled Pyrex, Cast Bronze, Cast Stainless, Clock Works
7′ x 18″ x 15″

My brother Dan, has long supported my work He has several of my paintings and a sculpture, and he commissioned this clock. He collects clocks, and he wanted a working stone grandfather clock. I had a blast with this. When I figure out how to share sound on a web site I’ll put up a recording of the clock ringing. Unlike any grandfather clock you have ever heard!

Clock
Kansas Limestone, Chiseled Pyrex, Cast Bronze, Cast Stainless, Clock Works
7′ x 18″ x 15″

The face is cast bronze, and the hands are cast stainless steel. The clock keeps accurate time, so long as it gets wound reghularly, and it does get wound regularly.

Clock
Kansas Limestone, Chiseled Pyrex, Cast Bronze, Cast Stainless, Clock Works
7′ x 18″ x 15″

One of the few professional shots I’ve ever had taken. This needs no words, as they say, but that’s never stopped me before. The door is 1″ thick, and I wanted it to be as light-tight as possible. My machinist friend came up with a form of sliding hinges, so the door pulls strait out til it is clear of the stone, and then swings. Maybe I’ll remember to have Dan send me pics of the hinges.

Clock
Kansas Limestone, Chiseled Pyrex, Cast Bronze, Cast Stainless, Clock Works
7′ x 18″ x 15″

There is a light operated by a switch that Dan has located in the head. He’s also light-proofed the back. Well done, Dan!

Clock
Kansas Limestone, Chiseled Pyrex, Cast Bronze, Cast Stainless, Clock Works
7′ x 18″ x 15″

Here is the clock at home. A once in a lifetime project, one so once in a lifetime that I knew even at the time. Thanks, Dan.