Monday, March 30, 2009

Taking Notes the Old Way (Scrivere Note Vecchio Stile)

I have recently read 'The Art of Letter Carving in Stone' by a real U.K. artist, Tom Perkins. It is an extremely well written methodical approach to this craft. I quickly found a US vendor that would sell a round hammer and the correct size flat chisels and went to work on some slate.

This is my first attempt besides just stem carving, so don't laugh. I have to practice more so I can do a dedication slab (violet and white calcatta marble) in Latin for the pool when it is underway. I'll make it wordy and typical of the second century. Il libro 'The Art of Letter Carving in Stone' insegna meravigliosamente scrivere la lettera.

Friday, March 27, 2009

mosaic mosaico Delos marble

I have some good leads on botticino marble for the pavement outside. One supplier has material that would match the background in my copy of a Delos mosaic almost exactly. But, I'd have to find additional space to store the pallet loads of material.

I've been feeling the urge to crunch some marble lately. So while my plaster mold for the medusa face is drying this weekend, I'll go out and nip out some more on the charioteer mosaic and make a new one to match this. Maybe I can hand-cut a few thousand pieces by Sunday. I think a nice chilled white wine will help...
Ho voglia sgranocchiare il marmo fine settimana.Mentre il mio stampo in gesso di 'medusa' asciuga, farò un altra mosaico nuovo simile a questo. Vino bianco refrigerati probabilmente aiutareme...

Monday, March 23, 2009

Affreschi di Pompeii (nuovi)

I am still working on the mold for the medusa sculpture, so here is a fresco I've done instead. When the ancient Stabiae exhibit came to Dallas, the frescos were so amazing I had to try to make one.
So, I started by cooking up some hydrated lime, then slaked it with water for several months. When the lime was ready, I made a stucco base layer and plastered an intonacco on top of that. Quickly painting with pigment powders in water, I did the multicolored background (with some intentional 'distressing'). Then, I painted the figure as in the ancient one with glue and watercolor.

All the pigments are authentic. To make it more real looking, maybe I should grind in some dirt with the sander? I want to finish a whole room with the fresco technique, stay tuned.
Penso che l'originale affresco è stato da Villa Carmiano in Stabiae. Ha bisogno di più fessure?
Vorrei visitare Stabiae...

Friday, March 20, 2009

Porfidi Classico

For a future project, I have been sanding and cutting 'Comparta' porphyry. It is very similar to Roman imperial porphyry of antiquity (which for me has been very difficult to locate a safe source of). I was reading some incredible archaelogical notes from and am inspired to do a fancy labarum with marble and porphyry. The labarum is the symbol of the Roman emporer Constantine and was common through the late empire.

Porphyry is beautiful and purple, but extremely difficult to work. Notice the pretty white flecks called 'phenocrysts'. I'm worried about how difficult it will be to make discs for an outdoor pavement, since this material eats diamond blades like candy...

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

New mousepad

Last night, from Polycor's quarry in Colorado, I received a nice piece of their 'Valley Gold Vein' marble. It is now (in my opinion) the nicest mousepad in the building.

I was thinking of using this around a pool for pavement, but it would probably be too slippery. I think now I'm leaning towards tumbled beige Botticino from Turkey. Anyone speak Turkish or know a quarry manager? Shipping has to be expensive from Ankara to Dallas for 120 m^2...

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

il Scultura Nuovo

So, I have finally reached the stage where I can leave the clay alone. This is my first attempt at a clay sculpture (second if you count the horrible attempt that looked like a man). Luckily, I scraped that one off and kept going...

So, the next steps as I understand them: plaster cast a waste mold, let it dry, pick out the clay, fill the waste mold with plaster or resin, let that dry, then finally chip off the waste mold.

Once I have the model done this week, I'll go to the stone yard and pick a piece of marble big enough to carve this into. It's not as good as the 2400 year old original in my opinion (pictured below), but it is mine and it is without snakes (I hear some people don't like snakes). I'm thinking about a nice Cararra marble piece for it. Maybe Parisian, any ideas?