Monday, September 24, 2012

Down with Dust

lining up the core drill

the beast
I've stopped using the dry grinder after seeing Andrew use the core drill. It worked a charm and there's no dust .... I'm about to invest in more tools with a water feed - in the mean time - hand carving is working ok.....
look - no dust!

The hole - just where it's meant to be

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Lightning Ridge and sandstone

Lightning Ridge is part of New South Wales - or it's a world apart depending on how you look at things. I was lucky enough to see Gale Collins's three act performance at the Black Queen. The story, the place, the lamps.. it all fires the imagination and the opals are a beautiful mystery. The "overburden" is sandstone. There's a piece, newly quarried, sitting in the garden.

There's a smaller piece in the studio... so I've put out that I want tips on carving sandstone - both at home and out there, off the grid, in Lightning Ridge. Kevin Free came to the rescue.... and reassured me that my slice and dice method for getting rid of larger bits was the way to go... he gave me the name of some cool tools and told me to keep the stone damp.....

Just as well it was raining when I started since my respirator only helps me - and the room filtration system only works inside the studio.

The form is emerging from the stone - the grain is smooth and even - there's no shattering and the colours are subtle. Lovely stuff!

So for the next little while the water spray will be my friend - along with the powered respirator and together we'll release what's in there.

The leopard wood is pretty cool too - there's a few right where the stone is standing - does it grow any where else? I don't know.

Leopard wood at the Black Queen

Sunday, September 2, 2012

The Four Horsemen

I should get along to the NGV and see the The Four Horsemen, Apocalypse, Death and Disaster... on the other hand I got to thinking enough without seeing the exhibition. Some of the interpretations in the reference material are very 16th Century.... the four horseman riding together and laying waste to the landscape. Death hunting rich and poor alike - it seems far removed from the way we live in sunny Melbourne. Never the less an interpretation occurred to me... one of dependant origination. In Revelations the horsemen were introduced on sequence... and in each cycle a quarter of the population died..... so I thought of the form I could build and the attributes of each of the horsemen that led from one to the other....
Cycle of decay, starting by chance with Avarice and tracking through Conflict and Inequity to Decay....

I thought of it rolling like a wheel in a cradle.... now to build it. I'll need help......

Saturday, September 1, 2012

The Flowers that Bloom in the Spring

Everyday new flowers pop up. Mary was a great gardener and the flowers have survived neglect and garden rearrangements and chickens - and they still peep out of odd corners - one has even invaded the bathroom.