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Wednesday, 12 May 2004
Leg on a Base

One more shot of the "Leg to Stand On" because it finally has a base to stand on. The top octagonal plinth rotates on lazy susan bearings for ease of viewing. This piece will be on display over the summer of 2004 at Mather Hospital in Port Jefferson, Long Island, New York, as part of their annual Sculpture Exhibit. It is always a worthwhile show.

Posted by Bennett at 1:13 PM EDT
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Friday, 23 April 2004
Mosaic Commission

The collaborative team of Louise and Bennett Blackburn has completed their first mosaic commission! Okay, Okay, it was a request by son Barak for a stoveside countertop that would turn a useless 13 inch void next to the range into a heat-proof surface. Louise did the mosaic from broken tile in stock Home Despot colors (cant wait till we special order some really vibrant colors). The plywood slab was actually the sink cutout from the Vermont camp kitchen.....ah the virtues of recycling..... and the legs were a simple mortise and tenon structure of mahogany.

Also included is a shot of a very early mosaic collaboration done out of piece of Vermont quartzite. Louise thought it should be presented as a pendant, so I made a steel hanging frame, which was drilled into the stone and covered with hammered lead, and recently we hung the piece from two trees with chain. It swings slightly in the wind. It hangs at the edge of our property next to a town park that has a jogging/walking/rollerblading track around the perimeter. We keep changing the sculptures which are shared with the aerobic pubilc. Our best to all of you....BSB

Posted by Bennett at 10:24 AM EDT
Grouted Leg

Here are a couple of pix of the "Leg to Stand On" with the grout completed and the oil on the cherry refreshed.

Posted by Bennett at 10:00 AM EDT
Updated: Friday, 23 April 2004 10:04 AM EDT
Sunday, 11 April 2004
Easter Lillies

Dearly Beloved:

In a wonderful epiphany that came to Louise while working on the green mosaic acanthus field, the lillies with volutes mutated from the planned green to opalescant, and a foliage detail became a flower. They in fact became Easter Lillies, as the completed mosaic first saw the light of day today, Easter Morning, 2004 when these pix were caught. Louise did a very long day yesterday, completing the garnet/starburst/flower about 10:45pm Saturday.

This present series of mosaic collaborations can be thought of as a dialogue between multiple imaginations and historic form, which is seen anew through sculptural interpretation. The change of scale and mutation of ornamentation from carved wood to mosaic glass supported by a three dimensional carved subsurface renews the perception of a familiar presence.

The mosaic has yet to be grouted, cleaned , and the whole piece finish oiled......but that allows for something yet to look foward to.

Our best to all this joyous day......Bennett and Louise

Posted by Bennett at 12:20 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, 11 April 2004 12:34 PM EDT
Tuesday, 24 February 2004
Sneak Preview/ A Leg to Stand On

Oh yes.....we have been busy, so I enclose a sneak preview of the next mosaic collaboration...."A Leg to Stand On." Do you have one? The carving stands about four and a half feet and is done from cherry. The relief on the thigh of the leg will enclose a green mosaic interpretation of the acanthus leaf embellishment typical of ball and claw foot legs. Extracted from the context of furniture, the form becomes a very strange presence: a bizaare convention.

Posted by Bennett at 10:10 AM EST
Updated: Friday, 23 April 2004 10:11 AM EDT
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Mosaic Horns


We continue our collaborative adventures in mosaics on curved surfaces. This piece arrived in an unfolding sequence; the walnut curve with the inner surface covered with mosaic presented itself to the minds eye first.... an archetype: the sacred horns of ancient Crete, and flame. The volutes of red mosaic continued the sense of abstracted fire, and the black mosaic provided the field/figure dialogue. The turned base, also of walnut, grew in the imagination as a natural extention of the form. The circular plinth on which the horns sit fits over the shaft and rotates with lazy susan ball bearing hardware.

The piece doen't feel like a sculpture on a pedestal, but rather like a single integrated form.

Posted by Bennett at 9:51 AM EST
Updated: Wednesday, 25 February 2004 10:13 AM EST
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Sunday, 1 February 2004
Mosaic Post2/ note from Louise

Hi !

Just an exuberant note to share the completed post! It is FUN!!!! I love working like this and the more we do it the more fun it is!!! Sometimes we take turns on it and other times we work hand in hand; one cutting and one gluing and vice versa... it is a conversation between two people...there are exclamation points! there are pauses. always a surprise when finished, but no less a joy....

Love to all Louise PS Hi Geri....would you please forward to Bianca for me... we have no more room on the mailing site for Kodak...

Posted by Bennett at 10:47 PM EST
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Monday, 19 January 2004
mosaic post

Hi Anybody?

The post was a load bearing element of the Victorian front porch addition on our 200 year old farmhouse. The wood is unknown to me. The color is the green of very dense growth ring poplar, with no rot after 100 years in weather, and a very crisp, clean, carving texture.

Louise asked that I do the inside form of a loved gravy boat, and I thought infinity chamber done in mirror, and Louise thought about the shipment of mosaic glass she ordered through the net, and which was spread all over the keeping room table.

I spent Martin Luther King day in sub zero windchill in an unheated building on Gardiner's Island, bless the centuries old solar gain and wind shelter. Louise stayed home and did mosaic. Good thing.

This post will be an ongoing post on the mosaics blog at

best to all....BSB

Posted by Bennett at 9:48 PM EST
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Sunday, 18 January 2004
mosaics/ note from Louise

Just thought I would put my two cents in as the collaborative projects of late have rarely, if ever, heard from this voice.........
Creative Collaboration is first of all an extraordinarily complex undertaking in a marriage. We are not just surviving it but enjoying it. I think the suspension of ego is vital but at the same time retaining a sense of ego is even more vital because one or the other of us is bound to be stronger at one point in time through the process or another. We take turns being the dominant voice... this is interesting... and I love the give and take and the "ah hah" moments we share... the vision can be shared and it is wonderful...also neither of us is kidding ourselves about the "importance" of the art we create, except insofar as it is a communal project in our life to share with others as they accept...or not...
One of the images that we get is in our first large mosaic rock... I put in some tiny mirrors and we both are just blown away by the infinite imagery . When you peer into the form and your eye falls into the mirror reflecting the other side of the cut (and look back and forth) the experience is peering into the depths of the stone... another time and place... it is artificial but nonetheless it is actually a visceral experience for arouses a desire to see further and is quite fun. Is this the meaning of getting stoned? (ha ha) If it is, then it "rocks" (once again ..ha ha) There is an odd feeling as if one is looking into the soul of the rock...maybe I am a little eccentric which is certainly not a way I have perceived myself but as I write this I suppose it could be an argument about me...but this isn't about me; it is about a process..
The current project is not quite finished...more beads need to be applied so as to increase the sense of "roe" growing from the center of the rock....roe is approporiate after all because it is eggs... eggs symbolize birth and birth is the energy of the collaboration... birth is life process and growth follows as does the growth of our selves in and through the process of the growth of our marriage.
The wonderful pictures that Bennett took of this current project are so exciting in their abstract form. And the light from the rock is breathtaking. The mirror in this rock is a further evolution and is taken a step further than the first piece and it is so incredible to see the infinite chamber in the stone.
The background of the stone piece is fun and I think it is important to share the evolution of the piece. I will let Ben decide whether it is important or not.
The rock is from West Virginia. We love rock and Ben has been stealing rock from other places our entire marriage. This is from a river that we went rafting on with our friend Bob Thompson about 16 years ago or more...Ben is not here otherwise he would remember the name of the river, I don't at the moment. The rafting was more of a stroll in the park but it was a beautiful day nonetheless...
The rock has stood in one or another of places in our yard here in Peconic. It recently calved (broke) into two pieces. The form of the rock is wonderfully sensual and abstract and it used to stand like sculpture... Those two pieces then became the basis of the current "incarnation."
As we looked at it and as Ben carved the negative space into it , it broke again. So rather than despair, we decided to turn it into a dutch door into the center of the rock. Also,Ben was painstakingly carving the grid into the stone so as to remove the section of rock... but we decide the grid had an energy all its own... quite fun, the mirrors enhance the grid and make it accessible in different ways...
The complex metal work is rod, hammered and welded to create a hinge originally but the rock protested many times over and Bless Ben he repaired many a break with the rod. There is a patient man... it is quite complex in itself and really creates a sculptural form on the exterior....
Anyhow, I have to go to work now but felt it was high time that I wrote something... I have no idea whether any one is reading this, and oddly it doesn't really matter, what is most important is to forge ahead....

Posted by Bennett at 7:03 PM EST
Updated: Monday, 19 January 2004 9:45 AM EST
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Hello again

I think I made some progress with image quality shooting inside at night, so at the risk of boring everyone, here are four more pix which capture better the sense of stuff: fractured stone held together with hammered steel and bronze.

Hi Michelle, sorry I had your e-mail wrong. So you, and those with aol adresses would have missed the news a bit back that the "Letters to the Architect" are posted on the title page of There is also an sculptural update, "the other side."

I'll leave everybody alone for awhile, but you can pester each other with the "reply all" button, cant you. Is anyone having fun, yet? BSB

Posted by Bennett at 6:58 PM EST
Updated: Monday, 19 January 2004 9:47 AM EST
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