Monday, August 20, 2012


 “From the ‘great above’ she set her mind toward the ‘great below’...
Inanna abandoned heaven, abandoned earth,
To the nether world she descended...”-S.N. Kramer, Sumerian Mythology
Small hole with broken rim–Hit a marble shelf at 18" depth
  Yesterday and Today: Low 70’s, 40s at night. Brilliant sun. Crisp and dry.
 Phase Two of the hole project is already complete. Hurrah!  I hit a shelf of marble today at a depth of 18” inside the small hole that's within the larger hole. I bludgeoned the rock with a long, heavy metal pry bar, using its own formidable weight and gravity to slam down on the stone. I chipped away about two inches of solid marble and have now called it quits for the digging phase of the hole project. My face turned bright red. I’m now down 5-1/2 feet from the upper surface. It’s a beautiful, raw hole.
I inadvertently broke the rim of the small hole when I was crashing down on the lower rock. The nice crisp circular edge is gone. I’ve tried wetting some of the excavated clay and patching it, but it would not hold. I welcome any suggestions. 
Test ring of scrap marble to re-create the rim.
 I tested making a collar of rock around the rim from flat pieces of discarded marble. I’m not sure I like it. Right now those stones are wobbly. I would need to dig them into the ground if I use them at all. I’ll wait and see how the space looks after I begin building the marble clad wall–another trial and error phase of this project.
Tomorrow I'll start Phase 3–hewing, carving, and creating a ladder from the two aspen saplings I found on site. I related to a story on NPR’s Fresh Air radio program today. Comedian Mike Birbiglia has teamed up with Ira Glass of "This American Life" to co-write their first movie entitled “Sleepwalking With Me”. Mike described this venture as being similar to telling your 7th grade elementary class that you would be driving the bus on the field trip. You’d assure the kids who might object, that you’re sure you can do it because you’ve traveled in buses before, and you’ve watched a lot of bus drivers do it. This “not knowing”, but stepping out over the edge into uncharted art making is how I feel now as I begin the tree ladder phase tomorrow, and then the marble wall phase. Sigh....Breathe deep...and begin slowly, patiently with tiny baby steps. (at least that’s what I’m telling myself.) I'm whining because the deadline of September 8th is making me nervous.
BJ Honeycutt & Cecelia at the hole site
Before I close, I’d like you to meet BJ Honeycutt from Atlanta who is in Vermont for a 2-week Buddhist retreat at Karme Choling Meditation Center in Barnet VT. He is a member of the Shambhala Meditation Center in Decatur. I’m also a member there. I gave him a tour of the grounds, the quarries, my dig site, and the Sculpture School on Sunday. We talked to several students, and some experienced stone sculptors who were grinding, drilling, chiseling and polishing marble.
That’s it, dear readers for Day 7 and 8. I shot a couple more photos of pristine, classical marble block buildings in West Rutland.
West Rutland High all in marble
West Rutland Library-more marble blocks
And finally, here are two more hole drawings:
Cut-away of a chair in a hole sprouting branches
Cut-away of a chair in a hole with branches and a funnel of light

1 comment:

  1. I have truly enjoyed watching you and your process on this project Cecelia....personally I find it truly profound that we can embark on such an unusual project....even as observers...and in that process actually come to love and appreciate the absolute beauty of a hole in the ground.

    I love it! Thank you and congratulations!