Rococo Garden musings

Rococo Garden musings

After a day of teaching, despite being cold to the bones I take myself to the place where 1/2/3? of my future carvings will be exhibited during this years “Art in the Garden“. The plunge pool, what draws me to it is the highly structured square element and within it water, that flows freely despite it’s constrained environment, then there is this “funny” fountain, a portal, a wall…

Plunge pool as viewed from fountain, Rococo Garden

Plunge pool as viewed from fountain, Rococo Garden

Standing behind the fountain, slightly raised above the plunge pool I am playing with the possibility to position a carving on top of the fountain wall, would it hold the weight, could I incorporate the strong form of the arch…?

Fountain by plunge pool, Rococo Garden

Fountain by plunge pool, Rococo Garden

Plunge pool& fountain, Rococo Garden

Plunge pool& fountain, Rococo Garden

So many thoughts, so many possibilities, such a busy life, I keep going….the next step is to get a big lump of rock, let go of ideas, knowing that ideas that are of value to me rarely develop in my head.

Add water to water

Add water to water

 

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Stone carving course the rustic way

Stone carving course the rustic way

Rococo garden, Painswick

Rococo Garden, Painswick

 

It was not planned but as it happened this course is situated in a snowy setting, any excuse to light a fire is a good one. The spirit was not dampened by this everlasting winter, after the first day many new forms appeared in wet, frozen lumps of stone, some carvings had already weeks of thought and work put into them before they arrived at the Rococo Garden today. Here a few impressions of the weekend.

Bothy, Rococo Garden

Bothy, Rococo Garden

 

Stone carvings in progress

Stone carvings in progress

Alfresco coffe break, Rococo Garden
Alfresco coffee break, Rococo Garden

 

students hard at work in the bothy, Rococo Garden

Students hard at work in the Bothy, Rococo Garden

 

Fire outside the Bothy, Rococo Garden

Fire outside the Bothy, Rococo Garden

At times a fire can be a true inspiration and here a carving of me keeping the fire going ;-).

Motived Urn, Rococo Garden

Motived Urn, Rococo Garden

The following carving was started and completed by a stone carving novice during the two days we worked at the Rococo Garden. I was amazed how despite the freezing conditions all students worked incredibly hard and discovered new forms and solutions within their carvings. A big thank you to all of you being up for a eccentric weekend. Watch out their might be another one March 2014, but before then there is of course the summer stone carving course at the Rococo Garden/ New Brewery Arts (02.03.04.of August 2013).

Student piece at the end of the weekend course at the Rococo Garden

Student piece at the end of weekend course at the Rococo Garden

 

 

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Without pictures

Not that I didn’t want to put pictures in today, somehow I don’t seem to be able to upload them …qualities of materials and how they can change through the influence of temperature/time/pressure etc. Why am I drawn to some materials more than others? How can I use their qualities in my work?

Water can turn into ice over a period of time, the ice builds up and forms with gravity hanging forms. I see some of my carvings as fluid forms that have turned solid. Wax has much the same quality when it turns from liquid to solid but wax has such a different history and quality to water.Stone has gone through so many changes from liquid to solid. Cloth/string/leather a skin can be build over a form (Tottery patcher image to follow), stretching over a form showing tension and the underlying form in it’s purity, wrapping something over a form is like a ritual for me, being aware of pain and trying to bring some healing…

I am itching to get making, thoughts are flying around in my mind it is time to get them on paper and into the materials mentioned.

 

 

 

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Planning for some stone carvings

Planning for some stone carvings

reflections on water,drawing

reflections on water,drawing

So it is starting to be spring, the workshop is waiting to be covered in dust, I am trying to gather my thoughts and come up with some plans for carvings. I have made inquiries about the cost of portuguese marble which I want to use for the planed sculptures as they will be for outdoors and cotswold stone is to vulnerable to withstand frost over a period of time. Marble is a fluid stone in it’s structure and I am hoping to transfer some of my ideas about material into the forms.

imagine a stone carving surrounded by water,drawing

imagine a stone carving surrounded by water,drawing

Stone has a liquid element and I am trying to put this into the quality of form, combined with the aim of lifting the material out of gravity.

a drop of water, drawing

a drop of water, drawing

Looking at the formation a drop of water goes through when falling onto a surface, beautiful forms appear, through drawing I pull these shapes into something new, I am not trying to imitate nature, I am aiming to make sense of it by understanding the possibilities and limitations of nature and giving it form as it makes sense to me.

how far can stone be stretched, drawing

how far can stone be stretched, drawing

And then there is the question of combining materials, bringing beeswax into stone. Would I dare to cast wax into precious marble, what would be the point? With that one I want to wait a bit longer, make more experiments and understand it’s properties more holistically, it is a journey of discovery after all.

would I dare to cast wax into marble, drawing

would I dare to cast wax into marble, drawing

 

experiment, cotswold stone and beeswax

experiment, cotswold stone and beeswax

 

 

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Thoughts

So here am I thinking about materials and their meaning, thinking about processes in materials. The question for me now is how to apply my work visually to my thoughts and research. I have plans to use wax in stone, why? Stone is a ancient material, a material we all walk on, solid and fragile  simultaneously. Stone has been used as one of the first materials to give way to the impulse of humans to communicate form…Beeswax is a young material, it is soft, warm, can melt. Made with a huge amount of effort and applied in mind blowing precision it creates and protects the home and livestock of the bees. Beeswax as art material is versatile, it can be melted, shaped into a form, can create it’s own form and make gravity visible, I am only starting to understand this material. I am drawn to stone and beeswax as they are both natural materials and they come from polar opposites, which has a fascination for me. Something came to my mind over the years of working with stone and visiting quarries, human’s ripping the earth open and using the gut of it, material millions of years old, a symbol of human attitude towards nature. Bees are suffering from the exploitation we are displaying and bees are essential to our survival. Using beeswax in carved stone, the hope of a visual bridge of contradicting actions.

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