Falcon Sculpture by Joel Shapses

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Joel Shapses

United States


Size: 10 W x 21 H x 8 in

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Art Description

Sculpture: Stone on Marble.

Noir Belge (Belgian Black) is collective noun referring to black limestone found on several sites in Belgium. Some trade names refer more specifically to the quarry were the material was found, for example "Noir de Mazy" or "Noir de Golzinne". Some Noir belge marble deposit belongs to a fine-grained calcareous sedimentary formation dated Frasnian era (Upper Devonian – around 360 millions years ago) and located on the northern border of Namur sedimentary basin. A few black limestones located in the lower Carboniferous (near the city of Dinant) [1]
To the naked eye the differences between the black marbles from different quarries are almost impossible to determine. Good "Belgian Black" is dug as an inconspicuous grey stone but becomes immaculately deep black and shining as it is polished. Its relative scarcity is due to the difficult exploiting conditions (quarries in underground operation, for example of Golzinne and Bioul). Today it is one of the most expensive marbles in the world.

I started out with a 90lb block. The shape of the stone was rectangular. When I bought the stone I had no idea what sculpture was going to evolve from that shape. I put the stone aside in my studio and that sat for many years. Then one day I decided that it was time to create something from this stone. As I began cutting way the pieces a new form emerged. The carving process proved difficult due the fact the stone had no grain and sometimes pieces came off in unpredictable chunks. Finally the final sculpture emerged. The polishing of the stone revealed the elegance of a pure black form which suggested the form of a bird, hence the title “Falcon”





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