1 Here is the "Granite Sofa" leaving Farnsworth Art Museum for Skylands. Friends, Jeff and Candy Gammelin, owners of Freshwater Stone, know I'm always looking at interesting art pieces and suggested I house the carving while the museum underwent renovations. http://www.farnsworthmuseum.org http://freshwaterstone.com
3 Russ started carving the sofa in 2009 and finished it in 2010, when it was installed and displayed in the lobby of the Farnsworth Art Museum.
4 And recently, the "Granite Sofa" was delivered via flat bed truck to Skylands. The finished installation weighs nearly four-thousand pounds. Celeste's inspiration was the 1805 "Grecian Sofa" by architect, Samuel McIntire - that sofa is currently part of a collection at Winterthur Museum & Country Estate.
5 The sofa measures 38-inches tall by 93-inches long by 29-inches wide - made from one piece of pink granite purchased from a quarry in Northwestern Ontario, Canada, and shipped to Maine's Freshwater Stone where it was carved.
6 The sofa arrived at Skylands in three pieces - the base "legs" and the actual sofa itself. Russ used many tools to create it - from a 14-inch blade on a chop saw to a one-sixteeth of an inch attachment on an antique air hammer.
7 Each piece was carefully lifted off the truck. Notice the variations in color. The edges look like wood, but are really high-honed granite showing the true pink color.
8 Plywood and particle board were used to protect the floors as the pieces were wheeled into the house. Each of the base "legs" is estimated to weigh up to 650-pounds.
9 At the top of each set of legs were two holes made for transporting purposes. Chains were threaded through the holes, before the pieces were lifted off the truck and lowered near the entrance. Russ oversaw the entire delivery of his carving - he is the one NOT wearing an orange safety vest.
10 Russ helped wheel the first of the pieces into the house on a dolly.
11 Russ carved the intricate roses, stems, leaves and other ornate details into the pink granite using various chisels, brushes and even a Dremel. He said it was the most difficult part of the carving, but he enjoyed working with the stone.
12 Pink granite is a tight grain stone, which allows for such intricate details to be carved without flaking and falling apart.
13 Lightly scratching the surface of the granite whitened its appearance, a contrast to the true dark pinkish color.
14 Russ watched as the second base of "legs" was secured for lifting. It took a lot of time to move the three pieces into the house, but everyone wanted to be very careful.
15 If you look closely, you could see the carved details in the legs. Russ created the "Granite Sofa" based only on photos and measurements of the original 1805 piece.
16 I chose to have the "Granite Sofa" positioned in my foyer at Skylands - a perfect spot for this art piece.
17 Again, Russ oversaw the careful movement of his carving, which was completed in just about seven months.
18 The two base pieces fit perfectly against this wall in my foyer. Both sections were positioned before the sofa top was brought in to ensure the space would accommodate the installation.
19 A level was used to determine whether the legs were placed correctly and flat on the floor, so any needed adjustments could be made before the sofa was installed.
20 A scaffold and pulley were set-up to help lift the sofa and put it in place over the legs.
21 The hardest part of the delivery was the sofa itself. Russ watched as the straps were placed around the bottom end of the piece.
22 Careful attention was made to avoid damaging any of the stippling on the sofa's "cushioned" areas. Russ used a nine-point bushing chisel to create the color contrast for the "upholstered" part of the sofa.
23 Slowly, the sofa was lifted and carried to the waiting dollies. Celeste wanted the "Granite Sofa" to serve as both a sculpture as well as a functioning piece of furniture.
24 The measurements of the piece were vital in planning the transportation to Skylands, so everyone was certain it could be maneuvered through all the many doorways.
25 Russ padded the sides of the sofa to protect it as it moved through the halls.
26 It was carefully wheeled as close as possible to the bases in the foyer. This piece of the sofa weighed about 1500-pounds, so moving it was no easy task.
27 Even though the carving was on two dollies, wheeling it into place was slow and steady.
28 But, once it was placed on the legs, it looked beautiful - a true work of art.