Tuesday, July 23, 2013

A long narrow celtic knot

I'm updating this on July 29, 2013...I'm in Powell, Ohio and this piece is forgotten at home...so maybe next year.  I will be posting more pieces before the Irish Festival starts this coming Friday, August 2, 2013.  Stay tuned.

Monday, July 8, 2013

2013 - Inventory of Rocks for the 2013 Irish Festival in Dublin, OH

I think I see a stylized Irish Dancer in the tall one.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

2012 Dublin, OH. Irish Festival - Complete Carvings

Here are some of the carvings I did for the 2012 Irish Festival.  Unfortunately, an old customer called and I had to WORK starting just after July 4th .  So I didn't have many carvings completed going into the Festival just the one Shamrock.   I completed 4 Irish Dancers at the festival.  The dancer is an interesting (to me) carving because it is really a "negative" relief.  Most reliefs come out of the background this one goes in.

The only piece I had completed before the Festival

More work to do

Another version but the Stone is too rough

2011 Dublin, OH. Irish Festival - A few carvings

I have not faithfully updated this blog so this is a catch up post.  Here are some of the carvings I did for the 2011 Irish Festival in Dublin, OH... I didn't photo them all and I complete around 5 more at the festival.  I continued to work on Jack (see previous posts) but his right eye is getting worse.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

A Good Luck Leg for Chico

Jack (see previous post) had to wait while I completed this "present".

A friend of mine was in a terrible car accident almost a month ago.  He severely injured his left leg and is still in the hospital.  I was trying to think of something that would cheer him up a little and thought, why not carve a Good Luck Left Leg for him?  Since his hospital is in Albany, NY and I'm in Kalamazoo it would have to be a small carving that could be mailed.

I started with this 7 inch scrap piece of limestone.

Since the piece is so small I didn't feel comfortable using hammer and chisel on it.  So I used my Dewalt 4 1/2 inch small angle grinder to get the general shape.  I wore my thickest gloves and held the piece in my left hand and the 6 lb. grinder in my right.  Not too smart because all it takes is a slip and a nick with Dewalt to cause a bad accident.

It went amazingly quickly here it is after only 20 minutes or so of grinding.

After the initial shaping, I used my Dremel with a tile cutting bit to refine the "carving".

The original idea was to carve a left leg starting at about mid-thigh down to the foot.  But as you can see above, the knee would have to be about where that bump in the shin is in the picture.  That would mean the whole piece would have to skinny down, especially the ankle and foot.  This would severely weaken the piece and since it is meant to be handled it would be too fragile.

So I had to move the knee up the leg in proportion to how the ankle and foot came out.  The knee kept moving up until it almost disappeared and there was no thigh left.  No more Dremel, only filing and sanding from here on.

More filing and sanding and starting on the toes below...

The toes were the hardest part for me.


The toes went through several reworks and eventually I had to just declare them done.

The piece just fit into a small "if it fits, it ships" USPS box.  I enclosed instructions for its use.  For instance, the last picture above is how the Good Luck Leg can be used to ward off overzealous physical therapists.  

Now, back to work on Jack.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Jack's Progress

Above - Jack as he came back from the Irish Festival

Below - Jack as he was at the start of today.

Below - Jack after about an hour's work today. Because Jack has his head turned slightly I am working first on the left side of his face since the left side is the deepest into the stone. I am still worried about him breaking in two (see earlier post) so if I can get deep enough without him breaking then I will work on his right side.

This carving is actually an interesting (to me) problem in perspective since I am copying a 2 dimensional picture in a "relief" format, it's almost 2.5 D not 3D since it really doesn't have a back side. But the carving does have a depth component mixed with a perspective component (his right eye is closer to us than his left). It will probably only make sense when it is viewed from one perspective - directly in front of it.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Irish Festival, Dublin, OH August 6,7, 8 2010.

The opening day parade and some musicians.

It was crowded all three days.

"Dan the Stone Man" and his stone carving booth. We make things on the right and sell them on the left.

Some closeups of the stones ready for sale...most of these were gone by festival end.

During the festival I carved several pieces and started this relief of Jack Nicholson. I saved the cover of the March/April 2008 AARP magazine with idea of trying to carve his portrait some day. The 12 hour days at the Irish Festival meant extra time.

We couldn't find a pencil late Friday night so I just scratched in a sketch with a chisel.

After working on the stone for several hours I discovered a crack developing from below Jack's chin through and out his left cheek. Chances are the stone will crack in two before it's done.

Here's how Jack looked after a little rework. I've never done anything like this so I'm carving down in layers. The nose is the highest point so it has to emerge in the correct place. I'm also leaving the other sketchy details in place so I don't lose them as they layer down and become more distinct.

So right now, Jack looks like W. C. Fields.

Jack made it safely back to Michigan and the crack isn't any worse.

Getting ready for the Irish Festival.

August 1, 2010

I found three of these cut off corners at Sackett Brick & Fireplace here in Kalamazoo. They were free so I took them home. They are naturals for a Celtic Triquetra. Drawing a Triquetra freehand is challenging for me, so I downloaded an image from Wikipedia, printed it and cut it out for a pattern.

Here are the three Triquetras. Each a little different.

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I also carved a Triskele into a roughly hewn (broken) rock.

I only completed these four pieces but knew I'd have the opportunity to carve more once I got to the festival.