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August 4, 2013
You’d never guess it from the warm desert breeze but the seasons are shifting, fast.
The birds know it, the flowers too. Autumn is in the air.
And the bees sure enough know. Summer is all but over.
But what an exhilarating time of year.
With the nights still lushly warm, and no particular reason to go indoors the days are long, lovely, and productive.
Consequently I have recently completed a number of projects, and here are a few of them, beginning with Birdbath Wok’s remarkable make over. For apart from receiving a gleaming polish…
I also carved a Yule Marble fountain to give the birds the full spa treatment.
A mere few hours prior to taking the above photos it was laying on the banker in my workshop as I applied the finishing touches to the polished surface. However, as this is a solar fountain I still await seeing it in action as the sun had long since set by the time I had it primed and ready. Tomorrow morning will come round soon enough. I’m eagerly awaiting the reaction from the local band of sparrows. Hope they approve!
I suppose the big news is the addition of Three Faces to the garden… installed with the able assistance of my son Joseph earlier this very day.
This is a piece I have been working in my mind for quite some time.
I can’t even recall just how many years I’ve been staring down at this block, but I always knew it would make a terrific Standing Stone one day.
As the name hopefully implies the piece incorporates three distinctly different sides, or ‘faces’ . Here you have the ancient seabed, abandoned by the retreating salt waters in the area we call Oklahoma today. Just how old this piece of stone is is difficult to say, but given the almost pristine condition of the countless millions of tiny sea shells that adorn it’s surface (or top side) I’d say it perhaps represents the most recent, or newest, band of stone the Midwest’s massive limestone belt can offer, give or take a few million years that is.
The lack of shell damage surely suggests that this surface presented to top layer of the seam, perhaps covered merely by a few feet of sandy soil.
The entire surface, the whole ‘natural’ face, is one mass of fossils.
When you consider the mining, trucking, sawing and general abuse this stone has endured its quite fantastic that such delicate and fragile formations such as this could have endured in tact. There are many of these odd little miracles scattered across length and breadth of this completely natural face but this little chap is my favorite.
The second of the Three Face’s three faces was split with one blow of the hammer by yours truly.
Well, not JUST one blow, but after hammering at the plug and feathers until the stone was ‘rung’ one final blow did indeed cleft the two surfaces apart and what you see is one long sheer as the stone succumbed to the tremendous pressure generated by the hand forged metal wedges, or ‘plugs’. I have a term for this pressure exerted within the stone when split by this method – I call it lightening.
The third of the three sides was also created by my actions but from a very different set of circumstances.
To achieve a slick, smooth curvaceous wave-like surface such as this call for the big guns… by beloved array of diamond blades, spinners and flexible discs.
Together they combine to produce a silky smooth surface that begs to be caressed.
I suppose you could say I’ve always had a thing about Standing Stone.
Perhaps the moment finally came to create Three Faces as a consequence of this quick visit I paid to a set of stones I installed a few years back.
But whatever the reason it proved a fun project.
Other projects I have been occupied with since my last blog include this solar fountain: ‘Pagoda Bowls’.
Perhaps the most subdued fountain I have carve to date. Certainly the quietest.
As the sun hits the solar panel carved into the rear of the stack of bowls water slips gently down the surface from one bowl to another, with only the final tumble into the well creating so much as a ripple.
And finally… Birdbath Wok wasn’t the only lucky recipient of a make-over; Green Man finally moved into his new digs…
…Complete with splendid new mossy bears and wild grass hair.
Of all the solar fountains I think it safe to say that Green Man has the most fun with his water allotment. The reason should be abundantly clear once his Home Page appears, but let’s just say that his antics are somewhat amusing to say the least. Uncanny even.
Well, that’s just about it for now. Don’t forget to check out the accompanying video blog.