My latest public art commission for one of Vancity Savings Credit Union’s new branches in Vancouver, BC, Canada is progressing nicely. I have introduced an assistant to help me with the carving of this granite sculpture commission, and the assistant is in the form of a CNC robot. Pictured above is the assistant working on the first of the two sculptures. I’m using the services of Doratti Sculpture Studios in Nelson, Canada. They are a little far from Vancouver, but are the only six-axis CNC machine available in western Canada that can do fine art work.
The machine is an Italian Kuka robot, and you can see it’s diamond grinding head working downwards, as it follows the instructions from the computerized file I created in ZBrush.
On the left is the grinding head stopped on the top of the second granite sculpture. There is a rotating steel shank and the diamond grinding head is resting on the sculpture. The blue and orange nozzles spray water on the tool to keep it cool and to flush away the granite dust. On the right is a detail of the first sculpture. As I said in the previous commission post, I am under an NDA with Vancity, so I cannot show you the whole sculptures until they are unveiled next month – sorry! These photos are teasers, and I hope they pique your interest.
Remember, sculptors from history have always used assistants to help them carve their sculptures – Michelangelo, Bernini, Rodin. The only difference is that I’m incorporating a machine instead of a human to help me.