This week has mainly been about post-holidays and personal business, but next week is prepping for the new term, which involves getting a jump on my reading for class (found a pdf copy of McKesson's "Story" I'll be buying later, plus an old school early 20th Century book on sculpture and modelling by Albert Toft), and getting back to the piece of black chlorite I started in November, then stopped because the room wasn't set up yet. Another reason was that after starting on this one I got stuck on visualizing the elements on the bottom.
It wasn't until my meditation session on New Year's Day that I realized that this piece had to be approached from the bottom up to compensate for the delicate structures I want on the top and sides and not lose too much of the stone while trying for deep details.
Once I flipped it over and took these pics the design ideas emerged - rather, I could see the elements I want inside the stone, working with the topography. Especially with the sheared off 'face' of the stone where the design begins and evolves.
Because the stone has a dynamic 'gangster lean' to its planes, I want to emphasize that without removing too much of the material from the outside or the inside (essentially, the top is all inside).
This back section, which will be very busy, was what got unstuck by flipping the perspective. The thickness of the rough structures and the depth shows some of what I'm after design-wise, though the first stage of carving this piece (hammer and chisels) will be a bit tough practically. Normally you carve from the outside edges to the center of the mass; some of this work will have to be done outward, and carefully...
The fresh take yesterday was continuing the design work on the piece to get it past stage 0 - 'just a hunk of media.' First thing is to ignore the top and sides and put an abstract design on the base...
A contrasting color lumber crayon marks out where to create voids for dips, folds, and creases. And forget carving outward; it's just a matter of perspective.
The outside voids also tests the overall structure of the stone, just in case there's a hidden fissure or something that could split it in half at a crucial point. The piece is now back at stage 1, just in time for class...