Friday, December 13, 2013
Friday, September 13, 2013
Indiana Limestone Carving by David A. Day Stonenchanter
While we were looking, my wife Beth only somewhat jokingly said, "I wonder how many of your limestone carvings are they going to have mistakenly included in this search?"
Surprisingly, what we did find this time was a piece of mine I had sold in Nashville years ago (pictured here). Unfortunately it had been attributed to an acquaintance the very talented, but deceased, sculptor and Vanderbilt teacher Thomas Puryear Mims from Nashville. Tom and I, occasionally exhibited together. My Indiana limestone carving they mistakenly attributed to him sold at auction in 2011 in New York City.
Here is that link:
I wrote the auction house, but have not yet heard from them and would not be surprised if I don't. I myself am currently working on an appraisal of 10 of my significant early pieces from a private collection here to help settle an estate. I know there can be issues and questions even when you are very knowledgeable.
I wish my asphaltic limestone carving "If you go barefoot, you are going to get thorns!" that I sold to Miss MaryLou Derryberry in Chattanooga way back when would pop back up somewhere, sometime too. I would like to see it again. If you run across it let me know, I rarely took photos.
While I am from Memphis, I owe having made my career as a sculptor largely because of Edmonson. He was from Nashville and quite universally well-known there. As a consequence, everyone there easily related to my Indiana Limestone carvings. The majority of his work is held in private collections there, plus a few here. Thankfully, many of those collectors also bought my pieces. I usually delivered and placed my carvings, and so not only had the opportunity to see a large percentage of his body of work, but I was allowed to study, handle and on occasion move them for the sometimes aging owners who had bought them from him personally when they were very inexpensive (even a few dollars). His carvings were sometimes found being used as doorstops. Some of the owners were not wealthy themselves but everyday folks who so appreciated the pieces in their collections that they had so far managed to resist the astronomical and ever-growing prices his pieces were demanding (valued at tens of thousands of dollars). My favorite collector, a retired African-American school teacher had quite a number that were small. She had originally bought them for her tiny garden. She also became a regular customer of mine, and so I was told many stories of her visiting his stone yard. The Tennessee State Museum who owns his work had a retrospective of his carvings back in the 1980's I think, that I visited often during the run of the show.
The museum also owns a piece of mine titled “Sweet Spring” reminiscent of Edmonson which is on loan to the Governors Residence where it was installed in the entrance garden. I doubt it would be there without the William Edmonson legacy.
Just as surprising was a large painting of "Sweet Spring" also in the Governors Residence collection, but that with pictures of them are another story.
Oh yea, thanks to the New York auction house for these great pictures of my carving, even if you did get who did it wrong.
Monday, September 9, 2013
Lapidary and Jewelry by Beth Prussia DayBeth has been busy cutting stone and fabricating sterling for jewelry getting ready for the annual Pink Palace Crafts fair where she will be demonstrating lapidary and I will be demonstrating stone carving. Here are her latest creations using Larimar, Chrysoprase, Precious Opal, and two types of Crazy Lace Agate with sterling.
Monday, September 2, 2013
The Oak Princess
I am currently showing a few pieces in a new gallery.
“The ArtWorks Gallery “ located at 2770 West Street, Germantown, TN, in Saddle Creek South.
Regular Gallery Hours will be 11am to 5pm Thursdays, Fridays & Saturdays.
For special appointment or more information you can contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Friday, July 26, 2013
I have very mixed feelings about offering this little gem for sale as it is arguably a Lake Superior Agate that I carved into a very sensual – perhaps even erotic looking heart. If you spend enough time collecting along the Mississippi River and on the more and more rarely exposed gravel bars, you will eventually find the elusive Lake Superior Agate, but rarely are they as large as this piece.
Thursday, July 11, 2013
Beth completed a really fine selection of precious and semiprecious gemstones yesterday. They are still on the dop sticks she uses to hold them while she shapes and polishes them. The diamond polishing wheels she uses to grind and finish them wet on her lapidary machine are also pictured.
Sunday, June 2, 2013
Sometimes rocks we have collected on one of our field trips sit around in our yard for a year or more allowing the rain and sun to naturally clean them. However if they are big and really dirty, I pull out the pressure washer and get really wet. The majority of them I clean with a small jet nozzle simply attached to a hose but get even wetter since there is no long wand. To be honest, this time of the year getting wet is part of the fun. I turn the stones often and let the sun dry them in-between which helps break up trapped dirt. I repeat this process until the loose material is removed. Exceptional examples may require hand cleaning with probes and brushes. Beth and I like specimens in both their naturally found form and as in these examples completely cleaned of mineral stains which requires a few hours in a crock pot slowly heated with a mild oxalic acid. This acid bath is required to clean the iron oxide off select specimens like this druzy quartz we collected on the last Club trip to Missouri. You can clearly see the difference between those that were just cleaned with the hose and those that have had the iron oxide coating removed with acid.
Many rocks we collect end up in the garden or I use them as pots like the included example. Some we cut and polish. Others we make into jewelry.
Sunday, April 21, 2013
I have always collected “curious rocks”. Conglomerates like the stone this heart is carved from were among the first things I picked up, usually out of creek beds. At the time I thought they were gravel that was used in some man-made product like asphalt or concrete that had broken, been thrown away, and then weathered into the curiously mixed odd shapes. Little did I imagine back then they were river or ocean gravel that many millions of years ago had settled within an iron oxide mud like limonite or hematite and were fused underground with great pressure for many millions of years only to resurface again usually in riverbed gravel or out of a gravel pit like this piece I carved into a heart.
This material is irrational to carve and even more difficult to polish. When I first suggested that I was going to use it for sculptures, other lapidary artist told me the stone was unworkable and would only ruin the tools or other material that was mixed with it while tumbling. This piece is an excellent example of that not being true. It is true that only a select few conglomerate carvings survive to completion. Perhaps it requires a certain aesthetic to fully appreciate such a carving, but I think this amazing example of what is possible speaks for itself. This is as difficult, rare, and odd as carving and polishing stone gets. Wonderful to contemplate and to hold as it oozes the energy geological forces invested in its creation. Every curious rock collector needs one.