Monday, August 23, 2010

2010 Mid July

Mountain View County generously granted $4000 to help host this years event, that demonstrates thier support for the arts. Reeve Al Kenemere spoke to the crowd at the opening ceremony.
During breaks we visit, share artistic inspirations and techniques.

Now with his stone standing up Peerapong starts to work on the back side.

Volunteer Christopher White eyes up a cut to be made.

Sept 12, Saeid arrived today, this is the stone he will use. We have had good luck with material in the past but when Saeid's stone got to the site and we cleaned it up there was a big crack in it we didn't see. The stone is thinner than what he had designed his sculpture for so he had to come up with a new design. A bit of a rush too as his visa was issued so late.
The new maquettte is made from clay, he can reshape the model until he likes the form and still be sure it will fit into the stone. If you use wood and cut too far you have to start again so clay is often the first step in developing a form.
Now checking the model against the stone....
To begin Saeid had to take a long strip off the top of his block, we decided the best way to do that wpuld be to drill and cleave it. So he begins drilling holes 18" deep and about 4" apart along the line he wants to cleave the stone on.
To get the best result all the holes should be alined vertically too. You can see the steel rod in the first he drilled, there is a level on the left side of it. By leaving that rod there it is easier to keep the rest of the holes gong in the same direction.
After the holes are drilled chisels are placed in each hole and then they are tightened progressively until the stone cleaves. You can see the crack working it's way down the stone in the forground.

About Sept 10 we placed a pad to move Pauls cross from last year, "The Elder". The location is beautiful for that piece, with nothing but open fields and sky behind it will look great here. Here we are drilling a hole for a column of cement that will keep the pad from tilting.
A careful check is wise before you begin making a cut as the material can't be put back once it is gone.
On Tuesday we went to the Calgary stampede. It rained all day but luckily the temperature wasn't too cold. As you can see the infield was a mess, bronc riding, barrell racing, bulldogging etc were all new, lots of pictures and videos were taken.
We toughed it out. As always the stampede was wonderful entertainment and we toughed it out throught rain wearing garbage bags to stay dry.
Tony has "Canuck" standing up now, he will begin polishing soon.
Peerapong has almost gotten through his stone, there is still a lot of work to do before he will start finishing the surfaces.
Steves parents stopped out for a couple of days. Peerapong was feeling a little chilly but as you can see the weather was mild for us. We'd have a hard time adjusting to the temperature in Thailand too, just the other end of the scale to deal with.
Mohamad played with the cats and drove the tractor for a 1/2 hour or so every day.
Mohamads goat will have a hole about in the centre of it's body. We are discussing the angle and location.

I make several plunge cuts witht the chain saw. This is an incredible tool for this kind of job, it would take a whole lot longer to do this with a drill and grinders as we would normally do. Big thanks go out to River City Developments from Red Deer for providing the chain saw. It was a big help for Peerapong too.
This is the result, after athe frets are reemoved by wedging with chisels the hole will be a long way toward being finished.

We don't always work, most evenings we spend some time talking about work, the countries around the world that everyone comes from or just walking around the acreage looking at the artworks and mixture of stuff I have that a lot of people would call junk.
Peerapong was glad to see Shirley, he met her here in 2008. That year she was here the whole month, she cooked and looked after the art gallery. Shirley is also the founder of the Atti2ude Club which she never have thought would grow into such an organization. There are members in more than 12 countries now and we are doing arts events around the world, of course Peerapong is a member. It's great to have a chance to renew friendships with people you thought you may never see again.

Saeid gives the thumbs up for another cut, the saw closer to the camera is actually just sitting there but it looked like a great photo.
This is the view that visitors get of the site, you can see the barrier rope just in front of the camera. Greg McMartin from Bowden is working on the wood piece in front, then Peerapong, then Steve chiseling on Saeid's stone, then Tanja's stone with the tent over it. Mohamad and Tony are on the right. People can also walk down the right hand side of the site and see these artists working from the front.
Here's another piece that Greg completed since the first of the month. It's great to have some local artists getting involved. Later in the month the Stone Sculptor's Guild of North America will be doing an exhibition and demonstration for a weekend, the quilts by the Bergen Ladies Aide is getting lots of comments, Danny Joe Jones and Sally Banks have some pieces in the gallery and some others too.
Ha, ha. Saeid was telling me he had never seen so many workers just coming to help, he can hardly cut fast enough to keep them working. With 12 days knocked off his time here by our consulate he could not complete this work by himself, Steve, Daorian, Brad, Pieter and Christopher are all helping him to complete his work before he leaves.
To cut on the top of Saeid's stone the saw had to be raised and blocked up. Christopher and Pieter have been heading up that work, I have been pretty busy with the chain saw for the last few days.

I have always known what Mohamad planned to make, a lot of people don't see the goat even if you tell them but from this angle I think you can see it pretty easily now.
Tony is working quickly, as he has to leave on the 28th his last day for working will be Sunday the 25th. They are going to Banff on Aug 27, the 26 will be the day we install "Canuck"
The little saw (30" dia.) cutting in on an angle will save Saeid a lot of work with a grinder, hammer and chisel.

His basic form is begining to take shape, with large pieces removed he can begin to work closer to the final surface with hand tools.
Tuesday River City Developments from Red Deer sponsored a trip to Drumheller with a tour guide for the guys (Tanja is back in Germany). Rod was great and will be the guide for next weeks trip to Banff too. River City has become a great supporter of Bergen Rocks and other artistic endeavors too. In Dec. 2010 they sponsored and hosted an ice and snow carving festival including dance performances, live music etc. called "Elements in Ice", a group I belong to organized it. The event was held on the site of their downtown development "Elements at Rivers Edge". Big thanks go out to Ken and his people at River City for their support of the arts, we look forward to future projects working with them.
Rod took them out to a buffalo ranch where they rode out on a wagon behind a tractor to feed the buffalo. This was really enjoyed, buffalo are unique to North America and their image is familiar to people around the world.
Then they went to the Last Chance Saloon for a buffalo burger, The little town of Rosedale and this hotel are at the end of a very short road (5km or so) and there are 13 bridges to cross to get there. It is in an old mining town, at the time it was worthwhile to build all those bridges to get the coal out. The mine is closed now but 1000's of tourists drive out there each summer just to cross all those bridges.

The next day it was right back at the work, Steve and Dorian are assisiting Saeid, I am cutting with the chainsaw on Peerapongs piece. It was too tight to get in there easily so I had to use one arm through one hole and the other from the hole in the back. You can see the tip of the chainsaw at the bottom on the right of the sculpture.
Even though the work is hard and there is a lot of it we still have fun throughout the day, Saeid and I joke about something as Dorian chisels on "Repression".
Pieter and Saeid discuss the next cut. This volunteer just showed up one day and asked if we could use his help. He ended up coming over for most of the day for the better part of 2 weeks and seemed to love it dispite the hard work. this is the kind of enthusiasm that makes Bergen Rocks possible, without the volunteers that help out so much in so many ways we just couldn't do it. If we could hold this in a town I'm sure there would be more helping hands in many ways, meals, at the work site, day trips etc. I think that if we keep it going some municipality or institution will see that this is a great way to hold an interesting event, attract tourists, beautify their community and create a legacy that will endure for 1000's of years into the future.
We make parallel cuts on the stone and then knock the pieces off with a chisel, these are called fret cuts. As we get closer and closer to the final surface that we want the cuts are made smaller and closer together. You can see the crosshatch cuts that Peerapong is making now, this will create a smoother surface than the larger fret cuts. The next step will likely be with grinding wheels and then moving to polishing pads impregnated with diamonds.
To make the cuts on top of "Repression" we had to raise the saw and block it up on timbers, we just have to wiegh the options of laying the stone down or moving the saw. Seemed simpler to move the saw this time.
Tony is putting finishing touches on now. Here he is creating texture on some of the surfaces by carefully chiseling. You can see that he has left a border of smooth stone at the edge. If he were to chisel too close to the edge it is almost certain that chips would break off, definition is also improved by leaving that smooth edge beside the roughened area.

Go to next post to see the conclussion of Bergen Rocks 2010

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