Stuck In The Dark Ages

DSCF0140When they show the master stonemason of the Cathedral of here or there, they show someone chiselling away in their workshop (^example). The only modern equipment, TV and sound recording gear excepted, are protective glasses and breathing masks. Oh, and a vanadium steel chisel, and a plastic hammer, heating, ear plugs, good lighting conditions, windows and roofs, a kettle for tea and a full belly.

This is not the authentic “just like they did it 500 years ago” experience, and why should it?

But, if authenticity of the manufacture process isn’t required, I can’t help wondering why they do not 3D laser-scan a sample stone, provide the exact measurements of the replacement stone, press Load and Go on a CNC-controlled router and be done with it.

Even Julia could do it!

The resulting stone may look at little too smooth, too exact, too machine-made, but at 27 feet above ground, seriously, who cares? A smoother surface will only make it last longer.


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Not Sure if I Would if I Could, But if I Had…

2011-09-25 12.59.33I couldn’t quite figure out this Nicholas African guy until I re-read the De Young museum‘s exhibition sign (luck that I took a photo): It is Nicolas Africano, silly me!

Nicolas Africano. He’s an unknown to Wikipedia, but not to a wealth of arts- and sculpture oriented sites. Here are a few more examples of his beautiful cast glass sculptures:

Woman Eating Fruit by Nicolas Africano 1997 Cast Glass (on Flickriver)

Untitled by Nicolas Africano 2006 (De Young Museum, San Francisco) (on Flickr)

Untitled (Standing female figure in skirt), Nicolas Africano 2005 (on

I find his cast glass sculptures insanely beautiful. Breath-taking, leaving me at a loss for words but with tears of joy. I don’t have money in the area of $30,000 to spend on a piece of artwork, and I am not sure if I would if I could, but if I had, I’d sink onto my knees in front of it every day under the sun in admiration.


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Not So Lazy

figurines I live in constant fear that you might think me lazy, so here are two –yes, not one, but two- very early samples of my recent stone masonry project. Plans are, as always, huge and somewhat involved, but for a first try-out, I thought I made my own Easter Islands replacement and my own little sailboat. Both are approximately 5cm (2″) tall. The head is polished, but I didn’t dare polishing the much more fragile boat.

Since both items are destined to be given to friends soon, I took those images to have some kind of memory. I hope my friends like them as much as I do.

These are simple soapstone carvings, a material I started playing with after we’ve been to the Henry Moore retrospective at Tate Britain a few weeks ago. Fascinating stuff, both the soapstone and Henry Moore’s work.

I guess you’ll have to watch this space.


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