Here's the first of 12 videos that will condense the process of carving each of the stones from this personal challenge running from September 12 to December 4. Just announced: the pieces will be shown November 5 to December 17, 2018 at The Collective in Lafayette, Colorado!
Today I begin polishing in earnest.. How many hours? I haven't counted for this one. Easily in the hundreds. Some people work faster.
As I define these forms, clearing a space through the cities of molecules in the ecstatic Brownian dance party that is this tumbled gneiss, the infinite substance of the rock makes itself known. And makes very evident our human habit of reducing most everything to a series of profiles. This must be useful. Yet false summits appear repeatedly, and it feels good when the mind lets go and experiences the full mass of the mountain we are walking on.
The hollow I've cleared in this rock to hold water is like a chapel. Forms and patterns around it are also fluid. I'm feeling how this makes scale flex, enough to hold any thought.
In traditional Buddhist sculpture, and maybe in other traditions as well, it is customary to wait til the last gesture to open the eyes. Even if it's simply my choice to listen more to the Spirit of Earth in the stone, the feeling that it has something to say is stronger than usual with this one. From the overall gesture to the tiniest details, there is the sense of where things should be; what I should do. I am very much in awe of the stone-being, grateful we are spending time together. I decided to honor its strong character and bring the face out early - now - to acknowledge this sense that it is directing its own evolution, of which I am an agent.
This Thanksgiving, so grateful that I have a place to work, the tools and time I need and sufficient know-how to make these things happen.
From very early in the carving process I started to call this piece 'Holds Water'. This was several months ago, before I was aware of the story unfolding at Standing Rock. It will be dedicated to the Water Protectors.