China | 22.07.11

Gathering pace

Changchun experienced a rainstorm last night which turned part of the work site into a mini lake. I noticed a pair of hands (discarded rubber gloves) in prayer position emerging
out of the sodden ground,no doubt praying for the sun to shine again!

After many days of inactivity waiting for the stones to arrive the artisan have been working steadily smoothing the face of the stones and today started removing excess stone from the block which will form the base of the sculpture. I painted lines on the stone with black ink today showing where the stone had to be worked.Due to the nature of the stone some of the excess will need to be removed by using an angle grinder with a with a diamond flush-face blade to cut the stone and a heavy hammer to break the stone off the block.

A pneumatic drill will be use where the structure of the stone permits to create a row of holes into which wedges will be fitted. Hammering in the wedges and feathers induces the stone to crack so the excess stone can be removed. The interpreter Zhong who is assisting me understands English well and is able to talk with the artisans. I feel the more that I am involved in the process the more we will work as a team and secure a worthwhile result by the end of August.