Friday, February 05, 2010

Bachelor Cruise III: Little Harbour

Little Harbour was settled by Randolph W. Johnston, an American sculptor, and his family in the early 1950s.  His son Peter is carrying on with Pete's Pub, art gallery, art workshop, and foundry.  Pete's son Greg is also an active artist on site.
Pete's Pub is right on the water.  There are no walls and a sand floor.  The fish sandwiches are fresh and delicious and were swimming yesterday afternoon, if not this morning.  I had lunch there with Erik and Judi from Bravo after we watched a "pour" at the foundry.

Just across the dune from the pub at the end of a boardwalk is the ocean beach.
There are sculptures wherever you look: on the beach, in the dunes, in the trees and bushes.

There is a tremendous variety of artwork in the gallery including bronzes by Randolph, Peter, Greg, and others. On the left is "Everywoman."  "Orpheus and Eurydice" are on the right.

This is the "9 Ages of Man" and "Grief."  I believe that they are all Randolph's.

Peter has done done a whole series of sculptures based on Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea. 

Methinks I saw this lady swimming in Hopetown Harbour last week but she was all in one piece and had all her extremities.

Actually, I was in Little Harbour twice in this three-week period, but I have put them together in one entry. 

The first time, I got a great tour and personal seminar by the Richard Appaldo, the foundry manager and resident artist. He was Randolph Johnston's last apprentice and has been a full-time resident at Little Harbour for about 10 (?) years after a few years as a part-timer. He was doing the fine work on a wax mold that had been created from a plastic or rubber female mould which had come from an original sculpture modeled in modeling clay much like the clay we played with as kids.

These are rough wax forms which had been poured into the plastic or rubber molds and have to be cleaned up and perfected.
The wax sculpture is dipped in layers and layers of a liquid silica and sand.  It is then fired in a kiln which vaporizes the wax and turns the mold into hard ceramic. Thus, the name for this centuries old sculpting technique: "The Lost Wax Process."

Here are a bunch of ceramic molds ready for casting with liquid bronze.

I went back a few days later to see Richard and Pete's son Greg do a "pouring" of 2,000 degree bronze into the molds which had been reheated in the kiln just before the pouring.

A few hours later, they "crack" the mould.  It's a lot harder than I imagined.  The ceramic has to be chipped away, piece by piece.
The result is a rather rough sculpture which needs extensive polishing, welding, "chasing", and resculpting before it is given a patina and waxed.
Greg is the third generation of Johnston sculptors in Little Harbour. 
Someone flew in on a seaplane for the festivities and lunch.  I'll bet they had a "Blaster" or two at the Pub also.  (Every bar in Abaco -- and probably the Bahamas -- has its own name for its fruit juice and rum drink.)

Little Harbour is a lovely spot with great protection from all the weather fronts that come through.  It's the furthest south we'll go in the Bahamas.
We'll be back after I pick up The Admiral in Marsh Harbour!

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