Sunday, July 26, 2009

STOP! Don't click away from this site!

This is still Terry Murray's blog, featuring gargoyles and other architectural sculpture from Faces on Places and elsewhere.

I just felt the need for a change.

What do you think?

They're everywhere! Part 2

A few weeks ago, I posted a picture of a gargoyle at Denver International Airport, remarking on how gargoyles (generically speaking) seem to appear everywhere.

Guess where else they appear? How about on a mausoleum? This guy (above) is on the Massey mausoleum in Mount Pleasant Cemetery.

Yes, that's the "Massey" of Massey Hall, Massey-Ferguson, Raymond Massey (the late actor) and Vincent Massey (the first Canadian-born governor general of Canada).

It's not as though the Masseys couldn't have afforded a proper gargoyle. I mean, look at this spout (below) with all the fancy detail around it. With the face on the turret, why couldn't they have sprung for a face on the spout that would turn it into an honest-to-god gargoyle?

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Sculpture: from clay model to bronze statue

Earlier this week, I was one of 20 people on a tour sponsored by the Art Gallery of Ontario of the Artcast foundry in Georgetown, where Eric Knoespel (left) and his staff have been casting sculptures in clay and other impermanent materials into bronze and other metals for years.

We were walked through all stages of the process, from producing a rubber mold of the original (on the table in the picture at left), to making a wax duplicate which is then covered with a ceramic shell mold (which Eric is displaying, above and below).

(See the red wax inside the ceramic shell? Click on picture to see larger.)

The wax is then melted out of of the ceramic shell. The shell is fired for extra strength and then placed in a bucket of sand, at which time the molten metal is poured in the ceramic mold:


The mold and metal are left to cool, at which point the ceramic mold is chipped away, and voila! A bronze sculpture!
Okay, this is a very oversimplified explanation of how it's done — there are several additional steps throughout the process I've described, and afterward. For example, the Glenn Gould statue in front of the CBC Broadcasting Centre on Front Street was cast by Artcast, and a work that size has to be done in pieces, which means there are later steps in its reconstruction.
But essentially, that's how it's done. And Eric gave a great tour.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Shaking Man

Back on June 22, when I posted the picture of one of Terry Allen's gargoyles in Denver International Airport, I mentioned "Shaking Man," his sculpture in San Francisco. Well, here it... I mean, here he is, from a couple of angles.

Isn't he great? Even though I think Terry did a particularly good job on the tie, I shot a close-up of the Shaking Man's extended hand. Those seemingly unattached fingers really contribute to the shaking effect.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Happy 4th of July!

"Close enough," this girl seems to be saying to herself about the work of the artist outside Washington's National Cathedral.
This is the best I can do for a 4th of July picture. It's not a bad choice though - it's in the national capital, it's a building liberally festooned with gargoyles and it was taken during the summer. Well, truth is, it was mid-spring, but still...
More on the National Cathedral gargoyles later. In the meantime, Happy 4th!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Canada Day: The night before, the day after

These are not my proudest photographic moments, but I offer them in the spirit of Canada Day.
I've been in our nation's capital (Ottawa) for the last 10 days, covering a pediatrics conference for the Day Job and then visiting with my sister. We drove past Parliament Hill on the night before Canada Day (30 June would be the night before, and 1 July was the Big Day itself), and witnessed chanteuse Sarah McLachlan doing her sound check for the big show the next day.
I didn't have a tripod but got this picture of Sarah on the big screen, with a few adoring fans gathered below.
This is a blurry version of what the stage looked like:

And this is the overall view, with the Parliaments Buildings and Peace Tower providing the backdrop.

Next time I'll know to bring my tripod.
So that was Canada Day Eve, and because I was travelling back to Toronto on the day itself, I wasn't able to post until now. So a belated Happy Canada Day to everyone!