This Bardstown history totem in an ash stump features the St. Joe Cathedral, UK wildcat, Talbott Inn, My Old Kentucky Home, opening bar of “My Old Kentucky Home”, Stephen Foster playing the banjo and sitting on a 1792 bourbon barrel. This carving can be found at 160 Country Squire Lane, Bardstown, KY. This project required 50 hours of carving plus scaffolding setup and travel. See the article in the Kentucky Standard, October 13. 2017. Owners Ed and Louise Nalley were a delight to work with.
Red tail hawk, pileated woodpeckers, snake, squirrels, raccoons, deer and turkey.
This 16 tall stump is an ash tree hit by the emerald ash borer. Lots of trees out there to turn into art.
This was a Barton Brands commission to carve their 1792 Small Batch Bourbon Bottle. 1792 is the statehood date for Kentucky. The distillery thought they had the largest elm tree in Kentucky and wanted to preserve the stump as a carving. This stump is actually composed of 3 elm trees that grew together.The large split is where the 3 trees did not quite become one tree. There were 2 hand-forged gate pins in the inner trunk and lots of fence wire. This presented challenges for my chains, but it was a very interesting project. About 35 hours of carving, not counting transportation and set up.
The project was completed just in time for a 225 year statehood anniversary celebration held at the sculpture. Most bourbon is aged in oak, this one will be here for the ages in elm!
Eagle stump carving in Douglass Hills neighborhood
Carving for the E P Tom Sawyer Dog Park. Dogs get to run free and interact with their canine friends!
Sailor Phillip Bordeaux served his country in the US Navy. He was a participant in an inter-service “Stand at Attention” competition 4 years ago. While competing a young neighbor friend, Poppy, 3 years old at the time, returned his salute during the competition. A newspaper photographer caught the moment on camera and it was published. A touching story that unfortunately does not end there.
2 years later Phillip was tragically killed in a car accident while deployed in Italy. Active Heroes heard of this story and wanted to honor Phillip and other Naval veterans with carvings of Phillip and Poppy. It was an honor for me to have been commissioned for this project.
This last Sunday I was further honored with a visit to the site from Phillip’s Mother, Father, brothers and other family. Poppy, her Mother and Grandmother also made the journey from North Carolina to the retreat site in Bullitt County, KY. Meeting these people will stand out in my heart as a true God moment. It was a heart felt day for all. I feel truly honored and blest to have been a part of this project.
My gratitude and respect go out to all of our veterans. I applaud Troy and Marieke Yocum for their dedication and success with Active Heroes.
It was an honor to be asked to return to Campbellsville University for the dedication ceremony for the “Praying Hands” carving. A memorable service with prayer, the presentation of a painting of the praying hands by another artist, special recognition for the donors and myself, and beautiful music was very special.
In addition I was asked to carve a Campbellsville mascot tiger and a globe from the same tree as the praying hands. The globe will be used to recognize over 40 countries that the foreign student body has represented over the years.
See the special section titled Campbellsville under carvings for more photos.
Graber Insealators hired Rob to create an Icynene carving for the Building Industry Association (formerly Homebuilders Association of Louisville) Day at the Downs during Derby week. This carving was carved from spray foam insulation with fish filet knives and utility knives, then painted.