Monday, September 10, 2012


 Weather: 50’s today, windy, grey clouds, turbulent sky. 30s-40s tonight. Frost predicted in isolated hollows.
 Maple beginning to turn on a dewy morning
 Dearest Readers,
Autumn in Vermont is in the wind, and I am getting ready to return to Decatur, GA this Saturday the 15th. I miss you Southern friends, my kids and grand kids. 
Cecelia, Michael and Susan at SculptFest opening party inside
 The opening reception of The Well, my marble lined hole and ladder in SculptFest 2012 was a great party inside, but a complete washout outside. The same squall that spawned a tornado Saturday in Brooklyn, NY dumped sheets of driving rain on the installations Saturday evening. We had a great party in spite of the mess. The Well filled partly with water, but drained nicely, and survived in perfect shape, all white and washed clean. I took this picture Sunday afternoon around 3pm in a bright blue autumn-ish light.
Hole survives the deluge in perfect, spanking clean whiteness
When the show ends in late October, the hole will remain a permanent piece on the grounds of the Carving Studio. The director plans on sending me regular photos, as nature inevitably will alter The Well’s appearance. (Cool!)
I’ll close with pictures in Rutland that mean fall in Vermont is on the way.
Early morning clouds rising from mountain valley in Rutland
Dad and son Noah waiting for the school bus at East St and E. Center St.
Boarding the bus at East St. and E. Center St.
Rutland's United Way Drive Thermometer
Leaves and plum-like fruit fall from a tree
Powdery mildew on a summer squash leaf
Rutland Vermont State Fair ends this week
Entrance to Vermont State Fair in Rutland
Dewy morning spider webs
Crows on old Dana School building-overcast sky

Monday, September 3, 2012


  DAY 22, Monday: Mid 70’s. Dry. Blue sky. Brilliant sun. 
The Well
Dearest readers,
Done. Finito. The hole project at the Carving Studio is complete–five days ahead of schedule. She’s officially entitled “The Well”.  (She because I feel like I’ve been inside the earth’s body).
The small hole within the hole
 I re-dug and repaired the small hole that once again descends 18” under the floor of the larger hole. Jonathan, the Studio Manager and I lowered the 14 foot hand-hewn ladder into that small shaft today, cleaned up the surrounding area and...Voila! She goes down and rises up.
Ladder emerges from inside the smaller hole
A thought or two...
Week 1: In the digging phase, I hoped I would have insights into my deepest self and maybe some answers about the nature of death. I fancied myself the “hero” on a personal quest, struggling against adversity to find some kind of truth. Instead, I became aware of my body and its limits, concentrating on practical stuff like not pulling a muscle or straining my back. No grandiose ideas or ultimate truth emerged from my tired brain.
Week 2: Figuring out how to make the ladder was stressful. I have zero experience with woodworking. I couldn’t sleep that week, worried that I would not be able to harvest the wood parts from the trees on site, or make the ladder strong enough. I learned a big lesson. Just Do It! Take the first tentative step, be patient and attentive to maintaining the ladder’s beauty as well as practicality. With this attitude adjustment, and an openness to suggestions from sculptors, I fashioned a workable ladder from the natural materials at hand. It served as a big ego boost and an eye opener. I am grateful to Louis Lalli for showing me the boyscout lashing technique.
Week 3: Lining the hole with the marble shards provided meditative time. Piecing and fitting was a gentle exercise in hand-eye coordination. As I spiraled the shards up the dirt walls, I felt like I was building a life, step by step. It was the opposite of Shakespeare’s idea of life’s “mortal coil” in Hamlet, unwinding like a spool of thread. This mortal coil was wrapping up into a life, stone by stone.
The opening reception is this Saturday the 8th from 5-8pm at the Carving Studio, 636 Marble Street in West Rutland, Vermont. I hope some of you readers can attend. SculptFest runs through October 21st.