This past Saturday eight of us caravaned out to Gary Haven Smith's studio to see how he creates his sculptures and paintings. It was a bit rainy but that helped to keep the black flies away- always a scourge this time of year in NH!
This first image is of the outside of Gary's sculpture shed. The large door allows him to back his truck up to unload the huge rocks onto the trolley for his stone saw. You can see a new sculpture sitting at the entry.
This second image shows his saw in the background. It is about 1 story high and uses a diamond tip blade (strand). He has rails to pull stones on a trolley towards the blade. A consideration in his design is the limitations of his equipment. He can only lift the saw blade up about 5 or 6 feet so that the stones cannot be too large or need to lie down and accommodate a horizontal cut. Another consideration is that his crane can only lift 2000-2200 pounds. Eliminating weight by removing stone is imperative.
Next to the stone cutting studio is a another space where he mills metal pins for joining stone, carves slate, assembles smaller pieces. There was an amazing amount of equipment - and ingenuity on display. It becomes clear that Gary is a problem solver when it comes to interpreting his vision.
Upstairs is his painting studio which is less coated in stone dust! It was a tight space so it was difficult to take many photos without seeing the backs of all the attendees. This is a shot of the painting station with a jumble of oil paints and the encaustic medium he uses to apply them to slate and lead. It is fun to see some of his older paintings and how they relate to the most recent work.
After we were done touring the studio everyone spent a few moments to walk around Gary & Susan's lovely yard which has a variety of Gary's older and newer pieces. These sculptures benefit so much from being placed in a landscape. The light color and curvilinear lines of the stone provides a contrast to the dark green trees and grass.
For those of you who missed the tour we will do it the next time we have a show of Gary's work in about 2 years.