The Four Elements
One of the pleasures of being a sculptor is getting to know the good people who have bought my work. One couple from that perceptive group recently contacted me to see if I could do anything with 2 very large sandstone slabs that they had unearthed during some building work. After a visit to their garden and a fair amount of head scratching I proposed that I create a sculpture featuring the four elements – Water, Fire, Earth and Air. I have to say now that this is not an original idea – I have seen one very formal carving and illustrations of other versions – but the idea was right for this stone and this setting.
The following very rough sketch shows what I had in mind. The words of the first three elements were to be carved over the 2 stone slabs, but the letter A would be omitted from ‘water’, I from ‘fire and R from ‘earth’. The slabs would be set upright in the ground a letter space apart. The air between the 2 slabs represented that fourth element.
That idea met with approval so the slabs were delivered to my place. Some heavy work was involved in getting the ‘inside edges’ of the slabs trued up and then it was a question of me getting down on my hands and knees to carry out the carving. As you can see below the letters have been carved for the three elements and down the side of the broader slab I have carved in an italic script “The four elements”.
Next week the slabs will be taken to the site and propped upright so that I can crisp up the carving and paint the italic script. Then comes the tricky part of setting the 2 slabs into position so that everything lines up and that the space in between is just right. I’ll let you know how that goes on.
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