A Razorbill without a head (flying buttress figurine)

Presawing in the snow

Van Velzen sculptor overlooks snowy fields this winterThe next flying buttress figurine for St. Eusebius's Church in Arnhem is ready. I've been busy presawing all the blocks that I had lying around for flying buttress 4 and 5 (read here more), before maybe a real frost period got in the way. Because my saw sits outside, I cannot use it during frost, because then bevriest alles meteen, if I even can get the water to the machine. As it was now it was only freezing by half a degree, and although a lot of snow fell and elsewhere on the terrain an old barn half collapsed by sheer weight, it had no consequences for me.

barn roof collapsed because of snow

barn roof collapsed

presawing stone sculptures in the snow

presawing in the snow

seven presawn flying buttress figurines and seven old flying buttress figurines in the workshop

seven presawn flying buttress figurines

Reconstructing after an old photograph

What proved more difficult, was that the bird that I was going to copy into new stone was missing its head. A Penguin, so we thought. Must have been with its beak straight up, otherwise it could originally never have fit inside the block. But then it would have had very strange wings -doesn't a Penguin have straight wings?

flying buttress figurine Razorbill without a head

old headless Razorbill—————————————–

grainy picture of flying buttresses figurine Razorbill on the Eusebius Church in original condition

an old photo of the Razorbill in its original condition

After some emails back and forth an old picture brought some clarity: the bird had its head bent backwards. It looked more like a Dodo. However, a Dodo does not have the legs of a seabird… then maybe a Razorbill? Although the bird in the old picture still didn't really look like a Razorbill, out of all options (Dodo, Penguin, Puffin…) that came the closest. So that was it going to be, and preferably a bit like in the picture.

Old drawing of a Razorbill with the same wing position

old drawing of a Razorbill: the same wings.

Razorbill on a rock in Iceland

a Razorbill somewhere in Iceland: the same feet.

Soon I also found photographs and drawings of Razorbills that came a bit closer. I made a new head of plaster and after approval copied the bird into new Muschelkalk limestone.

reconstruction of the head

the copy in new, rather coarse, Muschelkalk limestone

This stone can be very dense or contain some fairly large holes. This block was quite open. That should not matter constructively. The brown layers wash out, but the stone remains strong enough. These are simply characteristics of the stone.

the copy of the Razorbill in rather coarse new Muschelkalk limestone and the old bird with a plaster head

Beeldhouwerijblog.nl is the blog of Koen van Velzen, sculptor in stone and bronze. Look up my website as well: beeldhouwerijvanvelzen.nl

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