China | 19.07.11

Two enormous blocks of red marble

Two enormous blocks of red marble greeted me when I turned up at the work site this morning. I was thrilled of course but I had hoped that one side of each block would be cut by a saw leaving a reasonably flat surface. This is important as the 2 blocks have to be joined so the finished sculpture will be 3 metes high.Luckily there are artisans available who have already started to make flat the face of both blocks.

I spent the morning discussing how the job would proceed. I found it necessary to cut my model in half so the artisans could appreciate how the two blocks would fit together and the carving necessary to reveal the sculpture. Of course the artisan need to know dimensions so much of the afternoon I spent scaling up some drawings for them.

The site for the finished sculpture will not be decided until the work is well advanced. The sculpture has shell-like qualities associated with the gentle flow of water which I am sure will be enhanced by being set in water. To this end I envisage a square pond filled with lotus plants, the sculpture rising out of the water. Of course this is a change to my original proposal and needs to be considered by the organisers.

The sculptors working in bronze have nearly completed their metal armatures,a framework that will support a coating of clay. They look tired but happy in their work. It is not often that sculptors have the opportunity to work at a scale of 3 to 5 metres in height. It is challenging but at the same time most rewarding work.