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Binkley Completes Another Sculptor’s Untold Story

Michael Binkley Female torso stone sculpture

Last year, I was contacted by a woman whose father, Mathew had passed away. He was a hobby stone carver, used his daughter’s garage as a sculpting studio and had left tools, raw stone and a few half finished carvings. The woman was looking for guidance on how she might find homes for these items, and I connected her with my colleagues. Sadly, after a mild response that bore no fruit, she gave me all of the inventory, save a few angle grinders which she donated to the auto shop class of the high school she works at.

I in turn, donated much of the stone to the WCSA symposium art auction. I did keep one unfinished sculpture which caught my imagination. Mathew had begun what I believed was a torso from a piece of raspberry alabaster which is quarried in Colorado, USA. I made the sketch above left of what it looked like as he had left it. Mathew’s lines were very hard and angular with a masculine feel, yet the proportions of the figure seemed female. I imposed my creative input on the sculpture and completed the piece as a female torso, above right.

I wanted to honour Mathew’s elements and I kept the angular edges of the thighs and shoulders. I softened the whole piece and carved the breasts, rounded stomach and graceful neck. The linear grain of the stone became curvilinear with the rounded forms of the abdomen and thighs.

I thought the process was interesting – one sculptor began a story and another finished that story, yet the two never met, nor knew each other. I hope the Mathew’s spirit is pleased with the result. It is now in the collection of a patron, and I know that they are certainly pleased with it.

Comments: 3

  • David Jones

    January 12, 2012

    I was pleased to read the facinating story of your experience in completing the unfinished work of a previous sculptor, and further,of the detailed career path you have followed in your successful achievement as a talented sculptor as depicted in your video.
    It was an excellent production. David.

  • Michael Binkley

    January 13, 2012

    David, Thanks for your compliments. I’ll pass the video production compliments on to Michelle. Cheers, Michael

  • sylvia Binkley

    January 16, 2012

    I LOVE YOU!!!!

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