September 20, 2010

Petrified Baby Dragon

Here's another old project of mine that's been laying around for years.  This one was an attempt at carving something out of stone.  Gotta try your hand at new things, right?

Well, I had come across a hefty chunk of pinkish alabaster in an art store one day and decided to see if I had any Michelangelo in me.  I then bought a set of stone carving tools.  I had imagined that the blunt 2 pound hammer would be perfect for smashing the stone to pieces if I screwed it up.

Now, here's the fun part about being an artist...  It's the thrill that comes from diving into a project without any particular plan but knowing that ideas will soon pop up, evolve into a design and eventually coalesce into some kind of creation.

The next thing I knew I was chiseling out some kind of baby dinosaur... or a young, beaked dragon.  As a softer stone, alabaster would be easier to shape than, say, granite.  The more I chipped away under his neck the more apprehensive I became that one improper smack of the hammer would crack off the entire head.  I was nervous, but thought I'd have an inner sense about when to stop the chiseling and begin the sanding.  Getting into a rhythm of chipping, I eventually got to a point where I felt I should cut back on the hammer and chisel, but not far enough into it to start sanding.  And so I hesitated, and the little dragon just sat in a corner of my studio waiting to be finished.  Actually, I've grown fond of him this way... like an ancient fossil, petrified in a half-deteriorated state.  He eventually got wrapped in a blanket and put in storage when I moved to Hawaii.  That was 15 years ago.

Well, he's been dug up and shipped to the new studio laboratory.  It remains to be seen if I actually take the next step to finish him. But I do have a few drills that I could try out on him to develop some details like scales on the skin.  We'll see if he let's me do it...

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