The Sheds, Stanton Saint Bernard

The Sheds, Stanton Saint Bernard

22.10.2013, the sheds, Stanton Saint Bernard

22.10.2013, The Sheds, Stanton Saint Bernard

I am here again, this time equipped with enough time to embark on my own project…during a walk with my friend Kay around a muddy field in Wiltshire, surrounded by those typical Wiltshire hills, rolling on and on…we stumble across a second world war viewpoint. My temptation to walk in is instant, so is the fear of what might meet me on the other side. Intrigue pulls me in, fear pulls me away. Step by step I walk into the dark, disorientated, moments of chaos, sinking and rising stomach…moments later al is settling down in and around. Kay is telling me that this place was to watch out for german intruders coming along the canal, meters away from us. Waiting for german soldiers, waiting, waiting, looking out on the ready to shoot..

22.10.2013, pillbox, Stanton Saint Bernard

22.10.2013, pillbox, Stanton Saint Bernard

Nothing terrible is waiting for me here, closed walls all around me, walls blocking the entrance when I look around, slots let the light in and the reflection bounces jolly on water that has been collected below the slot. The outside looks bright, I am in the dark, feeling protected by this box of concrete and brick.

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All change

All change

“Art in the Garden” has been cancelled, there is no turning back, like before it means to be be flexible and adapt, accepting that life rarely works out as planned, what unfolds instead makes somehow sense. I am not in control, even if I kid myself that I am…enough of philosophical thoughts on “how to cope with disappointment”. I have been carving along on “stone 1”, nearing completion, many weeks ago I mentioned the bliss of starting to see forms emerge, a similar satisfaction is the tweaking of forms at the end, bringing out the best in forms and their connection between each other, reflecting constantly the flow inside the mass and adjusting the outer visible form to internal form movement. As you can see on the image below I started to sand down some of the form, discovering bright, bright orange veins running through the stone. It is hard to keep positive, encouraging myself that it is worth spending hours in dust, noise and isolation for the sake of form…looking at the image I am proud of what has happened, not as planned but hey with that I am back to where I started…I am not in control.

26.07.2013 stone1

26.07.2013 stone1

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Moving along nicely

Moving along nicely

A weekend full of stone dust and the sound of the grinder, what could be better? I made progress during the last days, can see the forms finding their place in the stone. I seem to have the hang of the grinder now and the carving is developing in the speed I feel confident to complete the carving in time for “Art in the Garden”. No doubt there will be the last minute rush and panic but I know I will get there. I like the forms, especially the top part (see image below), slightly nervous about the hidden side, need to turn the sculpture over again to make sense of all sides, having the stone on a turntable makes a huge difference and having it nearer the door so the natural light can get to it. I am happy with my work.

Stone 1, 16.06.2013

Stone 1, 16.06.2013

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The other side

The other side

With no other carving did I experience the same longing to turn it, being able to view it all the time from all sides, I believe this is due to a deeper understanding of 3D-ness, how I want the form to move freely between dimension. Thanks to Paul Grellier I am now able to work on one side of the carving that has been pretty much untouched so far. This will take me a few days to get my head round, who knows by then the stone might be much lighter and I can finally turn it over all by myself.

stone 1, 07.06.2013
stone 1, 07.06.2013
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The other side

Back to handtools

Returning to using hand tools, the Bouchard hammer being my most trusty companion of them all, I am able to see forms and the movement of form in precision. I immediately connect with the stone in a different way and letting go off having to speed ahead to get this carving completed in the next four weeks…I do what I can!

stone 1, 05.06.2013
stone 1, 05.06.2013
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Carry on, move on

Carry on, move on

Aware of my limited experience working with stone on a larger scale I lost heart for a few days, I literally did. The constant thinking about the carving, the forms, the drive to get to the workshop…where did it all go? It gave way to the sinking feeling that I can’t do this without help of lifting equipment on a very practical level as on another level strangely detached from the forms that have not got the perfection I am used to reach with hand tools…I am in a new land, walking in the dark. I am learning to ask for help, learning to not give up. Thank you Paul Grellier (a fellow sculptor who is exhibiting at “Art in the Garden” 2013) for arranging a meeting with Caroline in the Rococo Garden, being there is inspiring, I love this place, despite not carving in the garden this year I have grown a strong connection with the garden and the people who care for it over the last two years…as we leave I am starting to get excited about “Art in the Garden” and the weeks leading up to it. Away from the sculptures I am working on right now, we had Open Studios in Stroud, two weekends full of interesting conversations, this year I sold two carvings and had positiv feedback about my work generally, I am chuffed! I installed the pieces last week, in places where they are appreciated and observed through the seasons over  years to come. I often wonder, why I am doing what I do…. one reason is to give enjoyment to others, delivering my work personally made me realise that I am able to do that.

Cylindricus 2 installed in it's new home, 25.05.2013

Cylindricus 2 installed in it’s new home, 25.05.2013

I had a bit of time last week to work the best I can on “Stone 1”, carved by hand as well as using the grinder gently to move towards perfection within the existing forms….

Stone 1, 25.05.2013

Stone 1, 25.05.2013

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