Slate Bauble

15 factoids about the Slate Bauble:

  1. Upon completion, the Bauble perched on its temporary base in the sugarhouse woodshed for three months while the adhesive that held it together cured.
  2. Each slate chip received a dab of the “Lexel” adhesive as the shape developed.
  3. They may have only weighed a few ounces apiece but the collection of chips added up to a ton of sculpture.
  4. Most chips required a bit of hammer-shaping on their shoulders to snug them to their neighbors.
  5. What I thought might use up two dozen tubes of adhesive wound up taking six dozen.
  6. The slate came from a quarry along Vermont’s western border with New York.
  7. The bedrock there alternates green and red strata.
  8. The center third of the work took three times as long to build as the bottom and top thirds, combined.
  9. A steel rod planted in the base stone provided the axis for the half-circle template to spin around.
  10. The plywood template guided the development of the orbicular form.
  11. Lifting and setting the piece on the truck had its moments.
  12. The weighty shape tried to shift out of its wood crating, and bounced alarmingly around at the end of its chain tether.
  13. An unsightly, concrete, well casing in a corner of the client’s property precipitated the commission.
  14. The idea was to have the old well disappear and a new sculpture appear in its place.
  15. A scree of loose slate chips concealed the well top, and the well walls functioned as a deep footing for the sculpture’s permanent placement.

Thanks to Archie Clark and Archie Clark for coming to my rescue, once again, and providing the brains and brawn to lift, shift and place the Slate Bauble. This may be the 10th project I’ve completed for this very dear client. Three cheers for career-long supporters of dry stone art and craft!

Slate Bauble, sculpture, red & green Vermont slate, Lexel adhesive, 1 meter in diameter, Dummerston, VT, 2018.