I have been working on a large granite banana slug public art sculpture, commissioned for the new BC Children’s Hospital TACC.
I started work on the piece on March 10, 2017, after I transported the raw block from my supplier. After off-loading the 1,500 lb. block of Hardy Island granite from my truck, I raised it up onto cribbing and one of my turntable rings that I bought in Pietrasanta, Italy in 2008. These rings have proven very useful, as I can easily turn very heavy blocks of stone on them to various carving and viewing angles within the studio.
I’ve been using a combination of diamond blades mounted on angle grinders and pneumatic chisels to carve the sculpture.
I’m about halfway done on the piece and now I am working on the various details of the slug. I am planning to make the two longer, upper tentacles from stainless steel, so right now, the slug’s head looks odd with only the bottom, smaller tentacles carved. I plan to hone the mantle of the slug to a smooth surface so children can ride on it like a horse saddle.
The slug will be crawling over a rock and this is to keep the proportions of the five foot long sculpture in proportion, given that the mantle must be 18 inches off the ground for ease of access for small children. One can see the details of the slug’s skirt starting to appear between its foot and the rock.