Limestone sculpture for sale

The "Hotel Series" is Complete by Mike McCarthy

“My Heart” - Part of the “Hotel Series” - Alabaster

“My Heart” - Part of the “Hotel Series” - Alabaster

So what do you do when you are stuck out of town for work? More importantly, when you are there for several weeks at a time? Do you watch a lot of movies, go for walks, workout at the hotel pool or gym? All of those are fine ideas. But what I think is a better one is to bring along a piece of stone and do a little carving! That’s right, I said bring along a piece of stone and carve away.

“From the Beginning to the End” - Part of the “Hotel Series” - Indiana Limestone

“From the Beginning to the End” - Part of the “Hotel Series” - Indiana Limestone

“Masquerade” - Part of the “Hotel Series” - Soapstone

“Masquerade” - Part of the “Hotel Series” - Soapstone

This does take a little planning and thought. For instance, stone is heavy. So, the piece you choose to bring along has to be a small enough piece that it will fit in your luggage and not make it weigh too much. You also need tools. The only tools I think travel well, don’t make a mess, and don’t make too much noise are rasps. However, rasps can not be carried on a plane, so you have to check a bag. Be prepared to have your luggage checked by the TSA. I typically get one of their love notes in my luggage saying they have inspected the contents. Finally, you have to prepare the room you are going to work so you don’t create a mess for the cleaning staff. I typically use a towel laid out that I can then shake into a garbage bag or can.

Thought it all through? Good, you are all set. Think of the great dedicated carving time you could have when you are stuck in a town where you don’t really want to be. Bring along a stone and some tools and create some beautiful art!

The three photos in this article are all pieces I worked on over the last month while out of town for an installation. I only did the rough out then brought them back for the final sanding, polishing and basing. Bringing along some stone is a great way for me to not hate having to travel for work.

“If The Spirit Is Willing” is Installed at Josephine Sculpture Park by Mike McCarthy

Mark Hendren loading my sculpture. 

Mark Hendren loading my sculpture. 

All things happen for a reason. Last year at the outdoor sculpture show at Hidden Hill Nursery and Sculpture Garden two of my three pieces sold. That is a great show, but I was a little disappointed because I thought the one that did not sell was the strongest piece. “If the Spirit is Willing” was the sculpture that did not sell. 

Fast forward a year. I decided to enter “If the Spirit is Willing” into a juried show at Josephine Sculpture Park in Frankfort, KY. There were minimum size requirements for this show so that limited the entries. However, of the 20 entries, my sculpture was one of eight selected. That is always a great feeling to get that notice that your work has been accepted.  

So on Thursday I met Karen Terhune over where my sculpture was, picked her up and brought her home  then my next door neighbor, Mark Hendren loaded it on his trailer and I drove it out to the park.

The steel piece sitting behind my sculpture will be moved. 

The steel piece sitting behind my sculpture will be moved. 

I met the owner of the park, Melanie VanHouten at about 8:45. We set a limestone base and then the real fun began. We got to play with a big crane! I think cranes are an amazing engineering feat. The operator was incredible. He boomed over and dropped the hook right where I needed it. He lifter and set the dry fit with the smoothest touch I have seen. Lifted so I could get the safety out and reset in no time. Even though he set it so fast, nothing seemed rushed. It was great. 

So, if you are in Frankfort, KY, come out and see “If the Spirit is Willing” and the rest of the sculpture at Josephine Sculpture Park.