This series of walled and planted terraces and stone steps is purely functional. With commissions like this, I commit to making a form designed to perform a basic task, to move people from one place to another through a garden. It seems simple enough. But I am so inherently vested in the physical and spiritual process of the work itself, that what I leave behind is true landscape sculpture... not masonry, not outdoor folly building. A visitor should receive very strong echoes of my feelings for Nature when they experience what I leave behind, even if it is a prosaic work.
"Beauty is truth, truth beauty, -- that is all Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know."
From "Ode on a Grecian Urn" / John Keats
2007 / Anasquam, Mass
This concrete bench was made in a single casting. The mold from which it comes is a sectional stainless steel form that I will use to create a series of the form in concrete of different colors and textures.
It is amazingly comfortable for an individual or group of friends. Bring your pillow and a blanket and an openness to dreaming.
Collection of the Artist
A simple homage to that magnificent building in Rome with its oculus, an open air skylight that traces a circle of the sun along the interior walls as the day progresses.
Longevity is always a problem with wood construction outdoors. So here, the cedar posts float on heavy steel compression plates that emerge from buried cement tubes. No wood contacts the wet ground. The red cedar will last many decade to come.
This structure is designed to carry a series of hammocks upon which to read, relax, nap. From this resting position, one can see the clouds and sky move through the center copper oculus.
2009 / Danbury, Ct.
The Horse hair Apse was so well received, my client asked me to return to create something on the shadow side of the house. In the basement, I saw leaning against a wall and forgotten, four whimsical cast iron plates depicting unicorns in flight. Normally, I would consider such ornament kitsch and not give them a second thought. But then I thought about the idea of unicorns at night dancing across the woodland facing rear wall of the house.
I clearly saw this enigmatic portal holding the iron unicorn silhouettes before a light source, like a magic hand holding a magnifying glass to behold the dancing horses on the wall. My imagined memories of the horses who gave their hair for that wall was something I wanted to honor. I know very well how badly neglected and abused is the fate of so many loyal horses in their later days.
Thus given free rein and the client's nod, I welded a special carrying frame, hinges and ground plates. Making something look effortless and fantastical always requires enormous physical work.
So as the seasons pass, as in Monet's views of his haystacks and the lovely Cathedral at Rouen, the many moods of the work appear in the pictures before you.
2009 / Anasquam, Mass.
I hand made the urns in cement to be close approximations of classic measure Greek bronze votive bowls. A long vertical hole was drilled 15 ' through both columns to allow a gas feed line to power igniters hidden in each urn. With the touch of a button, one can pretend to be Dr. No.
This assembly is unusual for me in that it involves outside fabrication in the form of cut and flamed stones from northern Canada. I composed the respite point to the specifications of a client keenly interested in mathematics and orthogonal perfection.
2009 / Gloucester, Mass.
As humans, our brains have evolved to find the patterns, signals and shapes that emerge in what we see. It is an analagous world. We can't help but gravitate toward the familiar, the recognizable, the reassuring, like small children. We see what we wish to see but not always what we need to see.
This enigmatic figure is a massive stone that lay in a forest slated by realtors for clear cutting. I saved the stone and lost the forest. What you see is all that is left. In its presence, one would have to be a blind soul not to realize they were standing before something far, far greater and more wise than them.
I took the photo, said thanks and praise and then with a large crane, lay it gently down and left it alone.
This observation deck overlooks a pond teeming with wildlife. The structure was intended to be a treehouse but when the deck was laid, the idea of enclosing it above and to the sides felt wrong. Rather than bolting into the live trees, I supported the deck load with the spiral staircase and 2 corner columns. When we began digging the footings, suddenly the soil shot up in a muddy
So, back to square one, we dragged special aluminum I-Beams through the forest and lay them on spacers above the root mat. Then we covered them with long logs hollowed out with a chainsaw so the viewer would see no metal in this environment. It worked. The deck floats.
Such effort is typical of my larger projects. I reengineer as I proceed, letting mistakes or accidents of measure lead me to more interesting places. By allowing a structure or sculpture to organically evolve, tell me what it wants to become, tap me on the shoulder and say, 'No. not that way. This way.' the entire process of building things becomes fun not work. And the work itself takes on a life of its own.... my life.
The work owns me fully and I happily immerse myself in its complexity with the goal of gentle satisfaction when I cart away the last of my tools and look back one last time.
2003 Bedford, New York