Working with this limestone stele, (a stele is a slab shape piece of stone), provided an opportunity to work with a series of connected abstract shapes. Mostly sculpted with hand tools, the shapes had to be lightly connected but still reveal a flow of image. Applying a light coating of furniture oil with a light buffing created the brown tone areas.
Tree of Life
How better to celebrate Canada150 than a sculpture of overlapping maple leaves? I selected this green block only to find out it was one of the hardest stones I have ever worked. Like cracker jacks, there is a surprise in every stone. The backside looks like a cross between a maple leaf and pot. As I said every piece is a surprise.
A woman looking through the gallery asked if I could design a piece that reflected her special relationship with her son; a relationship that involved a heart health crisis. Upon reflection I suggested overlapping hearts made from translucent white alabaster.
The result is two superimposed hearts but when placed in a window and backlit the smaller heart “ghosts” in the larger one. The warm light also shows fissures in the stone that appear like arteries. An unusual design but a perfect match for what the client desired.
Watch Over Me
My inspiration for this work was watching my daughter and husband care for their newborn daughter. The abstract form is as simple as possible. Two adjacent curves leaning forward. The stone parents are standing shoulder-to-shoulder craning their heads to look in to a cradle. Your eye follows the parents’ line of sight in to the curved cradle. The curve of the cradle suggests a rocking motion.
Ready for Flight
Having recently returned from my first ocean cruise I wondered what it would look like if I had a porthole window below the waterline. This is what I envisioned swimming dolphins and whales would look like if viewed from under the sea.
Future of Flight
Riffing off of the “round peg in a square hole” idiom I designed the intersection of a round hole (actually elliptical) and a square hole. And of course to make it more challenging I balanced the piece on the edge of the circle. The material is translucent white alabaster that when backlit has a warm white glow.
This sculpture is two interlocking pieces. Not glued, just interlocked. Neither piece will stand by itself. But assembled they balance. Now for the surprise. The two pieces can be assembled in multiple orientations providing five distinct sculptures. Each a delicate balance.
It required some of my engineering background to determine the centre of mass of the individual pieces and of the assembled shape.
The raw stone had a very irregular shape. What to make from such an unusual shape? I chose to make what could be described as a fractured artifact uncovered in an archeological dig. Hence the name. This white alabaster looks pure white. Ironically, stone this white looks soft, like a marshmallow.