Archive for May 15th, 2013

Yikes! Scary Looking, Isn’t it?

May 15th, 2013 Comments off

Bottomless Pit - Monticello Dam Drain Hole
Bottomless Pit – Monticello Dam Drain Hole

Glory holes are used to drain excess water from dams during dry seasons. This is the largest one  in the world, located in Lake Berryessa, Napa County, California. 
This glory hole was constructed between 1953 and 1957. The hole diameter is 72 ft  wide and the critical drop is 280 ft .

‘Freedom Sculpture’ by Sculptor Zenos Frudakis, Philadelphia, PA

May 15th, 2013 Comments off


Zenos’ statement about his vision of the sculpture

I wanted to create a sculpture almost anyone, regardless of their background, could look at and instantly recognize that it is about the idea of struggling to break free. This sculpture is about the struggle for achievement of freedom through the creative process.

Although for me, this feeling sprang from a particular personal situation, I was conscious that it was a universal desire with almost everyone; that need to escape from some situation – be it an internal struggle or an adversarial circumstance, and to be free from it.

I began this work in a very traditional sculptural manner by creating a small model in clay called a macquette. The purpose of beginning in this manner is to capture the large action and major proportions of the figure within the overall design without any details to detract from the big idea. Another reason for not having details and for working on a small model only a few inches in height is that the small armature within it, holding the clay, is more easily manipulated, allowing for much greater flexibility in developing a concept. For example, an arm, a leg or a head can be pushed around without any concern for obliterating details, such as a nose or a finger.

The macquette is the original mass of clay where a concept is born and from which it grows and develops. This was important later when I enlarged the sculpture from several inches long to 20 feet long, and I retained in the larger work a sense that all the conceptual material, its forms, focus and development sprang from this rough idea. The work metamorphosized, in the way that we do.

Although there are four figures represented, the work is really one figure moving from left to right. The composition develops from left to right beginning with a kind of mummy/death like captive figure locked into its background. In the second frame, the figure, reminiscent of Michaelangelo’s Rebellious Slave, begins to stir and struggle to escape. The figure in the third frame has torn himself from the wall that held him captive and is stepping out, reaching for freedom. In the fourth frame, the figure is entirely free, victorious, arms outstretched, completely away from the wall and from the grave space he left behind. He evokes an escape from his own mortality.

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He’s Forever Blowing Bubbles . . . Sterling Johnson

May 15th, 2013 Comments off

sterling-lg2The only performer who specializes in blowing bubbles using only his hands, Sterling Johnson was trained as an engineer and a lawyer.

His bubble blowing to entertain friends over 30 years ago has developed into a full stage show.

Sterling is the only person to ever put a bubble inside a bubble inside a bubble on stage without any straws or tubes, and the first person to walk completely through a bubble film. He explains it this way, “When a hand is soapy, you can slide it right into a bubble because the bubbles respond as if your hand is part of them.”

His favorite bubble story comes from Sterling Johnson Bubblesmith
when he was volunteering at a school for severely retarded children when he was in engineering school.

He says, “There was an autistic girl who gave very little reaction to anything going on around her. I made some half-sphere bubbles on a soapy formica table top for some of the kids, letting those who were able to play with the bubbles I had made.

All of a sudden, the girl’s eyes seemed clearer, and she became engaged with the igloo-like bubbles that were in front of her. She played with the them, touched them, and was interested in their popping. Her teacher said it was the only time that had ever happened. It was pretty touching to be present for that.”

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