Industrial Evolution, Home Page

Industrial Evolution

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Industrial Evolution / 1314 Winter Collection / Colorado Yule Marble

14.5 x 5 x 23” / 68 lbs / SN140202 / $3,750

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'Industrial Evolution', 1314 Winter Collection, Colorado YUle Marble Sculpture by MARTIN COONEY

A self-portrait had been on my mind for some time prior to carving ‘Industrial Evolution’ but it took a chance encounter with a mirror to cement the idea in the form of a ‘mask’.   Anyone who knows me knows, or should know by now, NOT to ask me if I wear a mask! I seriously doubt I would be here today writing this if I did not steadfastly embrace the technology specifically designed to protect me from the environment in which I sculpt marble.   The conditions in which I work absolutely necessitate my wearing not only a mask, but goggles, ear defenders, hat, gloves… steel-toed boots, and tough, tough work clothes.     It is during this roughing out stage that I ‘lock’ myself into my protective gear for practically the full duration.   My chosen arsenal of tools includes angle grinders, spinner pads, steel mallets, cold chisels, and pretty much anything that gets the work done, and done fast. During this time dust, stone chips, fragments and cubes of solid marble are apt to fly about the workshop in all directions.   Gradually, as the dust settles and the rough form begins to take shape I am able to shed aspects of my protective shell as I exchange grinders and spinners for hand chisels and rasps.  I feel a pinch of excitement each and every time I don the gear, for with it comes my passport into another world.    Without this armor plated kit I would soon succumb to suffocation; my lungs would fill with fine dust, my eyes would be scarred by a million scratches, my ears would ring (even worse than they do now), and I would be at the mercy of every object to fly off the banker.     With all this in mind the idea to create a self-portrait around the countless hours I spend peering out from my layers of protection presented itself, and was immediately embraced, as I stared at myself in the mirror… at what I had become.   The odd thing is though… that while all this must look tortuously uncomfortable, not to say excessive, I am actually very comfortable under my cloak of protection.  My mask removes 99% of particulate matter from the air I breathe. Beneath the massive ear protectors state-of-the-art ear-buds direct beautiful music into my ears, and the no-fog goggles mean my eyes are protected within their impersonal perspex slits.


It takes a particularly sound block with which to a carve marble mask, as there is really no room for error, or an errant crack or fault line for that matter. But right from the start I encountered narry a hitch. Carving Evo proved to be a positively delightful experience.

Industrial Evolution

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Hand Carved Marble Mask by Martin Cooney


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