The evolution of Musashi in Marble

When I purchased the 18th Century house in Chester, VT it required a total restoration. The first thing I had to attend to was the Maple tree that was too large and too close to the building. When it was planted almost 200 years before the proportions might have grown into something that looked well but now it overpowered everything and had to go.

There is an interesting process involved in taking one of these large trees down safely. We saved as much as we could for fire wood but the stem intrigued me as a sculptor. I had them cut it square at the butt and we moved a very large section across the road and into the field where I would work on it one day.

Once again I had something very large to play with and had no idea what I was going to do with it.  It sat there while we restored the building and the seasons changed.

One winter, after a very heavy snowfall, I looked across the road and saw what I had been waiting for. The way the show capped the wood it had the look of an oriental warrior in battle mode.  I made drawings immediately to capture the image before the snow melted.  When the weather warmed up I began to cut into the tree.

It turned out to be a rather abstract representation of what I originally saw but it worked for me. Once it was completed I moved in up to a ledge overlooking the property and there it stood for for several years until the bugs got to it.

Once it was completed I moved it up to a ledge overlooking the property.

Rather than let it decay, I took it apart. The tree was planted there 200 years ago and it was returned to the ground.

The next step was to create something like it in marble. That would last forever.

I made this maquette in clay . I made this maquette in clay .Then we cut a block of Imperial white out of the quarry in Danby and I carved “Musashi”. He watched over my place in Vermont and has held center stage in the gallery.

                                                     Musashi   Vermont Marble  30″x 14″x 10″

I could write another post about Musashi but if you are interested check out “The Book of the Five Rings ” by Miyamoto Musashi . He was a Warrior, Poet , Artist: the Renaissance man of Japan.


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