The raw blocks of stone are ready for my public art sculpture project. I will be carving two companion, four foot tall pieces that will flank the front doors of a new branch of Vancity Savings Credit Union in Vancouver, Canada.
They are granite from Hardy Island, which is up the coast from Vancouver, British Columbia. Granite is the best stone for exterior sculpture as it is impervious to the elements and manmade pollutants. This variety is a homogenous grey that appears dark when wet (as shown here in our typical Vancouver winter rain!) and is almost white in appearance in dry sunshine. There are some dark freckles, called xenoliths that you can see on the surface. It is impossible to know if any will appear inside on the final sculpture surface.
I am incorporating the use of a mechanical assistant to rough out the sculptures. I’ve made a computer file in ZBrush that will power a CNC robot to carve about 60% of the sculptures for me. I’ve shipped the blocks to the studio where the machine is and I’ll be visiting them soon to see on the progress.
Unfortunately, I am bound not to tell you exactly what I will be carving, but the compositions will reflect Taoist and First Nations imagery. I’ll post peek-a-boo photos as the project progresses.
Let me know what you think of my using a robot as an assistant in the comments below – I’m curious as to your opinion.