Von Huene’s ‘Drive’ parked at Harbor chamber

Posted:  Wednesday, June 14, 2017 - 8:30am

An exciting prelude to the Maine Coast Stone Symposium in August is on display at the Boothbay Harbor Region Chamber of Commerce office in the sleek, sculpted form of a quartzite Jaguar by Woolwich artist Andreas von Huene.

Von Huene is one of the 12 Maine stone sculpture artists participating in the symposium. His sculpture, “Drive,” installed at the Chamber on June 12, is actually four sculptures in one: there’s the sleek quartzite Jaguar, its stainless steel trim, the exotic wood highway it “moves” along, and the polished stainless steel pedestal.

“Imagine driving around Lake Damariscotta, you shoot around a corner, and you’re already lining up the front of the car driving along the next one.” This is how von Huene sets up the visual experience of “Drive.”

This car is so cool it even has working headlights.  Von Huene based the Jag on the streamlined coupes of the 1930s, particularly those by Figoni et Falaschi — a French company known for graceful car body shapes in the 1930s and 1940s.

The artist spent two years on this beauty involving steel casting, milling what von Huene says were “a zillion” strips of Brazilian cherry to be laminated — but every second was worth it: The movement within this gorgeous highway is a beautiful thing. With the sleek and smooth Jag atop it … it’s not moving, but it sure could be.

Von Huene grew up in Brookline, Massachusetts. His family created historical musical instruments constructed of all manner of exotic woods, silver, brass and, infrequently, gold. These instruments required special handmade tools, some made with grade D2 tooled steel.

“Once you figure out how to bend D2 tooled steel is a very tough steel, what is granite?” said von Huene with a smile.

The symposium will not be a first for von Huene, who also participated in the Viles Arboretum and Schoodic International Sculpture symposiums. Although he also works with basalt, sandstone, marble and limestone, he will be bringing some granite from his studio for the 10-day live sculpting event.

“We often use the same granites, yet we all do different things with it,” he said. “And you see the work and think, wow, why didn’t I think of that!”

So what jazzes Andreas von Huene about working with stone — beyond the “satisfaction of getting something done?”

“Each one (project) is an adventure; you think you know where you’re going with it and can’t wait to see how it turns out — you work like mad you’re so involved in the work ...,” said von Huene. “You don’t see the details until the end. There’s a lot of mystery involved.”

Locally, another of von Huene’s creations, “Alexander’s Threshold,”  a granite archway at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens (at the intersection of the Maine Woods Trail and Birch Allee) could easily be a portal to another dimension.

For more on this sculptor, visit https://andreasvonhuene.com.

An outdoor installation will be happening later this week. And it’s a big one! Bill Royall of Southport has created a soap box derby car — complete with a boy in the driver’s seat! But, that’s material for next week’s story.

Royall is also one of the dozen Maine stone artists to participate in the live sculpting event Aug. 11-20 at Boothbay Railway Village. These two sculptures will give the public a little taste for what’s in store come the symposium.

BHRCC Executive Director Patricia Royall, who assisted with the installation of the von Huene, said, “The Chamber is always looking for opportunities to collaborate with organizations to help promote their programming and contribute to the economic development of our region. The collaboration between the Railway Village's stone carving symposium and the Chamber celebrates the craft of stone -carving, its history and the artists who keep the culture alive.”

For more on the Maine Coast Stone Symposium, visit https://railwayvillage.org under events.