• indiana limestone
• 19” H x 19” W x 10” D (48cm H x 48cm W x 25cm D)
• private collection, North Vancouver, BC, Canada
Michael Binkley received a commission to carve an original fine art wildlife sculpture of a great blue heron for a patron’s garden. Binkley proposed using a variety of limestone that is quarried in the state of Indiana, USA. The uniform buff brown colour of this limestone, along with its ability to withstand the elements made it a good medium for the project. Indiana limestone has been used for decades as a durable architectural medium and the Empire State Building in New York City and the Pentagon in Washington are both veneered with this limestone.
Binkley proposed a composition wherein the heron is fishing in shallow waters and getting ready to strike out at an intended prey. The sculptor carved the bird in the round, but carved the slender legs of the heron in relief against a support webbing. It was a challenge to carve the serpentine shaped neck, slender beak and crowning head feathers of the heron with out breaking them. Binkley made the body and head of the bird a silky smooth matte finish that is a delight to the touch and contrasted this with a slightly rougher texture on the bird’s legs.