June 3, 2013
by Anna Huntington, community arts coordinator for The Sculpture Project
Sculptor Masayuki Nagase recently finished carving his design for Passage of Wind and Water into plaster models of the five granite stones he plans to complete at Main Street Square this summer.
The beautiful 1-inch:1-foot models are the first 3-D glimpse of the artist's design for The Sculpture Project.
Images of the models are being made available on The Sculpture Project's Facebook page this week.
"When I made the design drawing originally, I am trying to visualize it in relief form," Nagase said. Carving the models allows the artist to think about "the carving techniques for translating the lines and forms" of his design into the granite, he said.
Nagase first drew his design onto the models and then carved them using small wood carving tools.
He said he doesn't always create plaster models for projects. Given the scope of the Main Street Square project and size of the granite stones, he wanted to prepare preliminary models.
The sculptor noted that lighting has a big impact on "how the forms can come out" when carving in relief.
"The sun moves, changing the shadows and appearance from hour to hour," he said. "The lighting is different in the Badlands and Black Hills gardens and on the interior and exteriors, and I factor that into my thinking."
Nagase has experimented with lighting the models from below to get a sense of how The Sculpture Project will appear in the evening after lighting is installed at the base of the granite sculptures.
"Lighting is most stable in the evening," he said, "and there are many activities at the Square then, so it is important."
Photos of the models on Facebook include both "daytime" and "evening" views.