Thursday, December 30, 2010


The first sculpture was supposed to get installed Tuesday but got postponed to next week. However, it did get moved from the shop to the alley to have the mill scale removed, which allows the steel to oxidize. Washing the sculpture added enough water to the mix to start that process.

Beyond the new colors of rust in all its forms, seeing the beast outside added a whole new lighting scenario. The natural light and pooled water on the slices provided neatly stacked reflection pools, all interspersed with the beginnings of time's slow assault on the metal.

Here are some detail photos...

We find ourselves approaching and inspecting this thing from every angle, each new perspective revealing fresh detail, color, and lines. We probably look really funny doing it, too.

More full-body photos will be forthcoming shortly after its installation in its native habitat. I'm quite anxious to see it there.


Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Holy Ghosts

I'm a firm believer that we should all find our own sources of spirituality.

Round Top and The Sisters as viewed from Caples Lake, Christmas morning, 2010.


Sunday, December 26, 2010

Numero Uno

Alright, here are a few photos of the beast in complete form, although not in its final resting place.


Loping along


Portrait from below

Some stats on what you see:
~11' tall
~14' long
~3000 pounds
120 slices
Cut from 8 sheets of 3/8" steel with a hi-def plasma cutter
Width of each slice (when viewed from above) - 2"
300-some dowels for support and indexing
Untold hours of design, detailing, and fabrication

So I suppose it's time for a little bit of an explanation. A fairly brief one is that this is a foray into public art. This sculpture and fifteen others related to it will be installed in Carson City at two interchanges on the new 395 extension. They are 1.25:1 scale depictions of a meeting between explorer John Fremont and Native Americans. So while you've only seen a bunch of photos of a horse so far (pack horse, specifically), there will be a succession of explorers, natives, dwellings, etc.

It's been a long road to here to create a design signature for this project, to iron out (no pun intended) fabrication aids and methods, and to create many iterations of pose and the size of the slices. However, we've done most of that front-end work and it's time to get into the groove of producing some art.

Long story short, this is one hell of a way to keep my free time spoken for. :)

In other news, today's my birthday, and in hindsight, this has been a year of change and growth from myriad perspectives. Here's to much to be happy about!


Wednesday, December 22, 2010


Here are a few photos from the total lunar eclipse on the winter solstice a couple nights ago. Big marshmallowy trees look -really- awesome under moonlight.

Just as the eclipse started

It's striking how much darker the night gets when the Earth's shadow swipes across the moon, even in a surrounding of bright white snow.

During totality

The moon and a few straggling stars


Sunday, December 19, 2010


Getting to work around the time of the winter sunrise has its benefits. So does working on the 14th floor, far above the normal obstructions to the horizon.


Thursday, December 16, 2010


The sculpture project is progressing. #1 out of 16 is nearly ready for a full reveal.

Before we do that, though, here's a tribute to the ridiculous level of craft that goes into the fabrication. Paolo and Kevin are shown here converting calculatingly misshapen rings of steel, countless feet of welding wire, and a frightening amount of amperage into...something...better.



Welding happens to be shockingly photogenic. Party on, people.


Wednesday, December 1, 2010


For Thanksgiving, Ethel and I stole away for a few days to Carmel on the California coast. We needed a respite from the single-digit temperatures in Reno; hilariously, when we got there, the locals were shivering and bundling up because it had cooled down to 50. Sissies.

Our first couple days there were clear and calm, predominantly featuring the ocean gently lapping at the smooth sand. We made the most of it by taking a few walks along the beach, soaking in the warm November sun, and otherwise enjoying all the place had to offer. Of course, all that happened in between spates of eating hysterical amounts of food.

These guys would hunker down in footprints like tasty little Yorkshire Puddings.

Rivulets on Carmel River Beach

Tilt/shift portrait

Sun sets over Point Lobos

Cypress at Carmel City Beach

Waning day at the beach

Low tide; looking towards Pebble Beach

Shimmery reflections

Last minutes of light

Murphy ponders the sunset

Soft evening light

Saturday brought some stormy weather, putting a slight damper on the scenery we wanted to see on our drive down to Big Sur, but it's still a gorgeous place in spite of rain and fog. This storm also reawakened the sea, making things a bit more dramatic.

Abandoned barn, through the rain

Maelstrom, part I

Maelstrom, part II

The angry sea makes for awesome long exposures!

Silver lining

Peering down into the pit

Erosion at work, gracefully

Before we left to come home on Sunday, we enjoyed one last session of fresh sea air. The storm was gone but the sea was still angry.

Water, rock, and kelp

Thanks to the Ricciardis for putting us up (and/or putting up with us). We're very grateful to be able to spend time in places like this!


Past Detritus