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St. Andrew Beach Mouse

St. Andrew Beach Mouse, sculpture by Ellen Woodbury

Inspiration

This stone sculpture is a small monument to a brand new species of beach mouse which evolved in the last 10 years on an isolated pocket of beach along the northern Gulf Coast of Florida.

Massive beach construction of resorts and condo communities has created small areas of native beach cut off from other beaches. The beach mice who live on this small acreage developed into a distinct and separate species, already endangered since this is the only beach where these mice live.

What is so astounding is that geneticists determined that these mice became a separate species in just 10 years. Until the St. Andrew Beach Mouse, nobody realized that a species could evolve so quickly.

Stone

What better stone for such a monument than Carrara Marble from the famous quarry in Italy? This is the stone of gods and legends.  

Michelangelo and Bernini carved their masterpieces from Carrara Statuario, the highest grade of marble from Carrara.  This stone is not readily available, and then only to those sculptors with good connections in Italy.

Bianco C and Bianco Di Carrara are white marbles with much light grey vein.  They are the stones-of-choice for many professional sculptors.

Carrara is a reasonably hard marble with very fine grain. The crystal is minute, the dust feels like silk. It is a decisive stone–by that I mean one must work hard for the exact shape desired.

Since it is white, it is unforgiving. Every nuance of form is magnified by the tones and shadows which play across the surface. The tiny crystal requires much diligent shaping.

Finish

This stone sculpture has 3 different textures–raw stone for the sand, a matte finish for the mouse at 220-grit sandpaper, and a high polish for the seashell. This marble is wonderfully versatile, and I look forward to carving it again.

St. Andrew Beach Mouse was the last sculpture to be completed for my show, Sculpture in the Park, held annually here in Loveland, CO. My work was well-received and several pieces found homes quickly. The show is always a great time for me to reconnect with friends and patrons. The exhibiting artists are first-rate and the visitors are very interested in and knowledgeable about sculpture. This 3-day show is fun, exhausting in a really good way, and massively inspiring.

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St. Andrew Beach Mouse

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