Monday, November 22, 2010

New Zealand Arts in My Thoughts

New Zealand is a beautiful country and I met so many wonderful people while I traveled there years ago.

My thoughts are with them as the rebuild Christchurch after the earthquake that devastated the historic downtown region and now with the miners trapped due to the explosion in the mine.

As lives, families and cities are rebuilt, it takes the combined efforts and positive thoughts of us all to bring the best possible outcome given the circumstances beyond our control. Truly, many of these people are going through a horrific time--one that we would not wish upon anyone.

Rebuilding the cities will be the easier task. It is time-consuming, but they are blessed to have an abundance of beautiful stone (Oamaru stone is great for both sculpture and buildings) and talented artisans for reconstruction. There are options as to whether they choose to rebuild in the style of that which was lost or go for a new look altogether as Napier did years ago when it was destroyed. That city was rebuilt in the then contemporary style (Art Deco) and is a testament of how we can take advantage of a tragedy and turn it into a time capsule of sorts...creating an artistic and historic snapshot of a different era.

Lives and families are not so easily reassembled, and my thoughts are with all who have been touched by these disasters. May you know peace, love and beauty in your lives.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Seiferts Sculpt Steel and Land

Ed and Barb Seifert are former neighbors of mine...they also happen to be landscape designers and sculptors residing in northern Colorado.

Funny thing is when we were neighbors neither of us was actively working in sculpture.

I run into them at the Loveland Sculpture Invitational...and it is always great to see their work and catch up on what they are doing and how much their kids have grown. It just doesn't seem possible that it has been that many years, but when I learn where the kids are these days it makes me realize that my gray hairs are not premature!

Each of the pieces the artistic duo creates is unique. They often combine steel construction with water, whether free standing or a pond, and glass or stone...the natural and the man-made coexisting in harmony.

One of their pieces, "River Chimes" is an example of this harmony. The work is installed here in Loveland, at the Medical Center of the Rockies and features stone and steel in the form of posts and pipes.

Ed and Barb are extremely talented, as well as wonderful folks. Visit their site to see their landscape design, the nursery and of course, their sculpture. You can even arrange an appointment to see their private sculpture garden...but do call ahead! 303 772-1888

Friday, November 12, 2010

Test for Limestone or Marble

My cousin was here recently as he drove cross country...moving from Florida to California. Since he was a geologist in a "former" life it was fun to have him help me with some of my stones.

I confess I find stones that I think are pretty and I frequently don't know what they are! What kind of sculptor is that? Truth is, I'm more interested in how they carve and what they look like...but it is good to know what it is in case I like it and want to get more!

He told me that I can do a simple test to determine if my pieces are Limestone or Marble.

Take plain vinegar and place a drop on the stone. If it "fizzes" you have Limestone or Marble.

An alternate test is to, in place of the vinegar, use muriatic acid (you can get it from a swimming pool supply store.)

Sometimes with the limestone you have to have some stone powder rather than the solid rock...I'm not sure why, but I'm the carver cousin not the scientist!

Haven't tried it yet, but I have a couple rocks that I want to run the test on. It'll be interesting to see how it works out.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Back in the Studio

Having injured my shoulder (don't ask me how, because I don't know) I have not been able to be in the studio much for the past 6 months.

I've been busy with trips home to see my mother who was having some health issues...she seems to be pretty stable and accepting some help now, so that is good.

This week I have actually gotten in the studio twice! I am so happy.

Have a new little bird that I carved. Really I suppose it was more whittled since I'm not really up to hammer and chisel. Small piece of soft serpentine. Very easy to work.

I've done all the sanding, now I'm letting her dry. Then I'll see if I like what I've done or if I want to change any of the texture before I polish her and decide on her base.

Originally I had thought I would have a wall mounted piece as she is thin and really one sided. Now that she is done I'm thinking she would look great perched on a rock. I found a piece of igneous stone that would be a nice contrast. I'll have to think about that!