Saturday, 27 August 2016

Clever dead bastard


Message to advertisers: Yes, I KNOW that you use cookies and I KNOW that nothing will work properly if I disable them, and I KNOW that by carrying on I am agreeing to their use, so would you PLEASE stop making me agree every time I go to any site on the net? Thank you in advance (but not in hope).

The above is a picture of my little deadline, about half-way through completion. I am replacing one small piece of missing foliage on the left bracket, and since this has taken me hours and hours, I wonder how long the whole thing took the original, 19th century carver.

These are just two compononents of an ensemble which makes an item weighing around a ton, and every bit has detail carved into it, the like of which I have not seen outside ancient Rome.

The more I stare at this thing (and I have been staring at it for months), the more dumbstruck I become at the carver's irritating display of virtuosity. It is even more impressive when you understand that he (it was almost certainly a he) did not have the diamond-coated tools that I do at his disposal.

It is difficult to see any real detail in this photo, but take it from me - the leaves have veins.

If there is such a thing as 'too good', then this is it. It is just too well made for its own trousers, and I cannot help despising the maker for exposing me as the jack of all trades charlatan that I am.

I will give it a final titivation this Bank Holiday Monday and load it into the car ready for the installation on Tuesday. Then I can stop looking at the bloody thing and get on with the rest of my life - for what it's worth.

16 comments:

  1. What lovely corbels you have Mr Stephenson .... what amazing skills you and the original artist have and had ! How old are they and where are they to be installed ? XXXX

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've already mentioned the age, and I studiously did not mention the final location - more than my job's worth. More than I am worth, in fact.

      Delete
    2. Sorry ... I missed the age bit and I thought you could just say if it was a house or municipal building or whatever without actually mentioning the location !! XXXX

      Delete
    3. It's a house, Jim, but not as we know it.

      Delete
  2. Can't you use a 3D Printer?
    (At the risk of getting a T.S. whigging - and rightly so.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes I could have, but they don't work.

      Delete
  3. You should have lived 2000 years ago.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I do marvel that such creations were ever possible. In general I marvel a stone sculpting in general. Bravo to you, Tom, for skill, talent and courage.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ... in quite meagre measures, I assure you.

      Delete
  5. Yes , you can get awestruck every five minutes in some environment. A while ago I wrote about our visit to the Theatre in ancient Epidauros in Greece. It's not an amphitheatre but a semi. Anyhow, the acoustics in it have never ever been copied, although some really have tried. The beauty and complexity of such wonders are to be treated as a rare gift. I am quite sure you will do a splendid job, Tom!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As I constantly remind modern architects, the Romans (of Vitruvius's time) who followed on from the Greeks, studied 12 different diciplines, one of which was acoustics. Their time as students was 21 years before working on any public buildings...

      Delete
  6. I listened recently to a group of artist friends, all going on my age, talk about how satisfying their medium is to them now, as opposed to when they were starting out. It's all about the thirty or more years of experience between then and now.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have grown to despise it. When you first start out, you look at the chisel rather than the stone, but this only lasts a few days. Then you learn how to take the pain when hitting your own hand.

      Delete
  7. Perhaps it was cut by Grinling Gibbons, just to see what he could do with marble.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not his style really. I think he may have done centrepieces for the odd fire-surround, though.

      Delete