I still refer to my original model of Tsuru as the full scale version nears completion. (photo by John Whalen)
I’ve been shaping the final contours of my wooden crane sculpture for our Tsuru project in Denver. It’s been an arduous but satisfying exercise carving a form in wood at this scale, mostly because the form progresses so slowly working primarily with hand tools. I’ve learned that I need to keep focused on a particular, formal strategy for the shape to emerge naturally, which has required serious mental and physical discipline. The whole process has been a kind of duration meditation. My strategy has been to begin with the joint, the intersection where the wings cross the torso and get the ‘core’ to make sense, then articulate the edges, then interpolate the surface contours connecting the core with the extremities. Over the next few days I will smooth the entire surface and begin to experiment with surface patterns and textures. Once the wooden form is complete it will be delivered to Artworks Foundry to be cast in bronze.
The near complete bird has about a 9′ wingspan
My arsenal of hand tools for carving the crane.
To learn more about the development of our Tsuru project, please click here.