October is National Arts Month and I will be exhibiting my work in 3 different events (in order by date). Won't you join me?
This Friday night, October 1, from 5 - 8 p.m., for a chance to own some of my photographs from Italy. Exhibit runs to October 30. Details:
Bastrop Gallery, 1009 Main Street o Bastrop, Texas USA
Normal Hours: Mon. - Sat., 10 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
------------------------------Note from Kelly: One of the two pieces I
will be exhibiting was "not really" censored. I was told by the gallery
director, "We are not censoring your art, for that would be illegal for
us to do. But my boss wants you to consider that children will be
present." Two of those "not censored" works were paintings and have
since sold. The third "not censored" work is a small edition bronze,
which will be in this exhibit.
One Night Only - Saturday, October 2; Hours: 5 - 9 p.m.
Artists Interruptus anti-censorship art show
The Old School, 1604 E. 11th St., Austin, Texas USA
Note from the organizers: The show features works from Texas artists
that have been banned by galleries, cafes, and other public places, as
well as pieces that deal with frequently censored themes such as
sexuality and the mystical. The show will also feature prints of a
30-panel anti-censorship exhibit organized by the Long Island Coalition
Against Censorship; this is the exhibit's first showing in Texas. Music
by Tyler of Sound Audiks; sound by System Surround Sound!
Post-exhibit party at the Longbranch Inn
Saturday, Oct. 2 from 9:30 pm --???
1133 E. 11th St., Austin
Making its debut are new stone carvings, as well as paintings and photography inspired by my travels in Italy.
Saturday and Sunday, October 9 - 10, 2004; 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. Both days
FACET - FINE ART CREATIVE EXPRESSIONS of TEXAS (38th Annual Artists' Harvest 2004)
Booth # 300 (right near the front door); Juried show
Palmer Event Center, 900 Barton Springs Road; Austin, Texas
Admission is $7.00, Seniors $5.00 and children under 12 free.
I never cease to be amazed by the art of stone carving -
including the process of extracting the stone
from its mountain home. This summer I took my dream trip to Italy and
naturally I visited the stone quarries of Carrara,
which Michelangelo made famous. As I flew into Pisa, the white tops of
the Apuan Alps to the north were clearly visible from my window seat on
the plane. I overheard someone say that many people are surprised to
see snow on the mountains in the summertime, until they learn that it is
not snow, but marble they see. Marble is so abundant in this region
that it is even used for curbs on the sides of streets!
A Visit to Carrara, Italy
I had contacted Cave Michelangelo before arriving in
Italy and we set up a tour time once I arrived in the area.
My host that morning was geologist Fabio Massimo Biselli. The owner of
the quarry is Franco Barattini. Fabio introduced me to Mr. Barattini up
in the mountains while we were viewing the beautiful stone.
Before visiting the Cave Michelangelo Quarry in Carrara, I had only been
in the Yule marble quarry in Colorado
(see "The Third Dimension" February-March 2002 issue or more with
images on my site). In Colorado, the marble is
harvested from the inside of the mountain, working around very large square columns of stone that support the
external surface of the mountain above the quarry. The Carrara mountainsides were a whole other look with completely
open excavation by all of the quarries over the centuries. Cave Michelangelo not only has a huge quarry, but also a factory
which keeps busy with commissions of classical reproductions as well as enlargements of today's artists' works.
(I was a bit shocked, however, that none of the workers I saw wore any protection for ears, lungs, or hands.)
After my visit with Fabio at Cave Michelangelo, I walked
a short distance to The Museo del Marmo (Marble Museum). The museum
was very thorough in teaching the history of our noble craft. It also
contained an impressive collection of many different samples of types of
marble, granite, and ornamental stone; the tools to excavate and shape
it; and some art that has been carved from it.
The Carrara-region of quarries in the Apuan Alps was
once called Luna, after
the Goddess of the Moon. The Luni quarries were first explored by the
Romans around 48 BC when Caesar needed marble to build the Forum in
una officina (a workshop) was operated by each quarry, supervised by a vilicus who managed skilled laborers, some free and some enslaved.
Stone workers were specialized, such as caesores (cutters), machinarii (those who moved blocks), probatores (those who selected the marble to be cut), quadratarii (who rough-cut the blocks), and serrarii (block sawers).
Tagliata is the word to describe cuts made into the face of the stone with a hammer and chisel.
Up until the beginning of the twentieth century, stone was carried down the mountains to the sea by a method called lizzatura. Lizza
is Italian for 'wooden slide'. The procedure involved using wooden
rollers (logs) under the stone and pairs of oxen to pull it along (and
perhaps in some places, to keep the stone from sliding downhill too
fast). The following quote came directly from the translated portion of
an exhibit in The Museo del Marmo in Carrara:
At the end of the eighteenth century, marble was
extracted by using explosives. You can imagine the great reduction in
waste when in 1895 the helicoidal wire was introduced to cut the marble.
Two years later, an Italian engineer named Monticolo invented the
penetrating pulley, increasing the efficiency of the wire. This system
was used until it was replaced in 1978 by the diamond wire used today.
I am not sure, but I believe an annual re-enactment of la lizzatura occurs on the first Sunday in August. In sum, for those of us who love stone and process
in general, a trip to a quarry is a must. It is similar to (but even
more fun than) looking at a loved ones' baby pictures. And that is a
The Largest Block in the World
In 1929 the largest block of white marble in the world was
extracted, using helicoidal wire, from the quarry known as
"Carbonera" in the Miseglia basin. The block, which was perfectly whole
and without the least defect, weighed an incredible 300 tonnes and was
19 metres long with a height and width of 2.35 metres.
The altitude of the quarry of 800 metres above sea-level, necessitated
the construction of a special case so that the block could be
the mountain side without damage. Thus a giant sledge was constructed
using 50 tonnes of wooden beams, 14 iron poles and
25 large iron ropes, whereby the block was guided down the mountainside,
overcoming descents of over 60%.
It is said that 70,000 litres of soap were used to oil the iron ropes.
In the valley the 'monolith', still on its sledge, was pulled along by
over 35 pairs of oxen to the docks, where it was loaded on board a
specially constructed ferry destined for Fiumicino: the transport of
the block from the quarry to the docks had taken eight months. The
monolith is still visible to this day in Rome, where it forms the
obelisk of the Foro Italico.
The most beautiful thing we can experience is the
mysterious. It is the source of all art and science. He to whom this
emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt
in awe, is as good as dead . . . his eyes are closed.
A Quote from Einstein
::: Albert Einstein :::
If you enjoy Borsheim Art News, please forward it to
friends and colleagues. It comes to you about 6 times a year from Cedar
Creek, Texas-based artist Kelly Borsheim.
Thank you for reading,
27 September 2004
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