Will and Grace by MARTIN COONEY
Kansas Crème Limestone / 48 x 3.5 x 30″
I discovered these two love birds on page 280 of The Styles of Ornament by Alexander Speltz, and the moment I turned the page I knew I was going to carve them.
I was immediately captivated by how the original artist had successfully managed to frame such a delightful scene within the neat confines of a triangular arch. I was also drawn into the illustration as art in its own right. So, following in the footsteps of my two predecessors I set about creating my own version. However I’m sure if and when I do get to see the original carving there will be a marked ‘Chinese whispers’ effect as, first the graphic artist, then I myself did our tinkering here and there.
Practically my only noticeable intervention can be seen in Grace’s profile. I just could’t leave her this way!
The name ‘Will and Grace’ stems, as you probably guessed, from the 90’s TV show – not that I watched much of it, but it came about as I was working on Will’s face. As this was clearly a proposal I found myself forming his lips to mouth the word “will”, as in: “Will you marry me?”. Almost immediately I found a name for the dashing knight his soon-to-be fiance became ‘Grace’, and its been Will and Grace ever since.
I had about one and a half inches of material with which to work with so as not to bust through the three and a half inch thick slab of stone, and therefore each fraction of an inch had to be used with a miserly hand.