Archive for November, 2009

Half Size model

I was daunted by the size of the stone for the cherries.  Rather than just launch into the sculpture in stone, I decided to do a half scale model first.  This would enable me to figure out the best way to approach the sculpture and work out a procedure/process of how to carve the sculpture. I made up a half size block by cementing “Quinlite” blocks (lightweight very soft building blocks) together and then carving it!

I have still a way to go, but getting there slowly.


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Clay Model



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Stone Delivery

On Monday 2nd November the two large blocks of Kilkenny limestone arrived. It had been several weeks since I had gone to McKeon’s Quarry at Threecastles in Co. Kilkenny.  In the meantime I had been trying to find a place to carve the sculpture. The place I was hoping to work (a large dry barn with electricity) didn’t materialize. I didn’t really want to work at home as I would always be distracted by home chores.  I found another barn fairly close by but not as dry.

I also got the corners cut off the smaller stone (the single cherry) by McKeons at their yard in Stradbally in Co. Laois. They did this with a 3.0m circular saw. Unfortunately I wasn’t there to see it in action and get a few photos.

The most important thing was I had to arrange transport for the large blocks. Loading at the quarry was not a problem as McKeons would do that with their massive quarry fork truck. The problem was unloading at the other end. I estimated that the larger block weighed approximately 7.0 tonne. This would require a lifting crane (hi-ab) of at least 10 tonne capacity. The other consideration was that the truck needed to be small enough to get down the small boreen to the barn I was to work in.

So, last Monday I met the lorry at Threecastles quarry and the blocks were loaded on without any problem.


Dan (from the quarry) and Pat (the lorry driver) supervising loading.

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All loaded up

I was very concerned that lorry would get stuck getting to and from the barn as it was situated on the far side of a grassed over yard and it had been extremely wet in the preceeding days. However, the first problem was that even though the barn was a high barn, there wasn’t enough height to unload. The lorry reversed out (without getting stuck thankfully) and the smaller stone was lifted off and telescopically placed in the middle of the barn. Unfortunately (you could say stupidly), I had forgotten to ensure the blocks be place the right way up when loading at the quarry. So, we had to turn the block.

The large block was next. The crane really struggled lifting the block, it could only lift the block close to to the crane and the cranes arm could not be extended. As a result the block could only be placed half in and half out of the barn!!

The goods news was the truck got out without getting stuck!!


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The blocks in place with some bemused on-lookers

Thanks to Dan Fitzpatrick, Niall and Barry Kavanagh of McKeon Stone and Pat Rooney from Carlow Precast for the transport and unloading.

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More Cherry Studies

Before I start on the actual full size stone, I need to be sure that I have the form completely worked out. So I have been doing additional sketches.


I will be undertaking a quarter size model in polystyrene and a half sized model in light weight concrete blocks.

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