Double click to read all the comments the youth wrote on the posters.
Shhh. God is whispering to all. He tells me I am his.
Reeleef comes. Jesus' death for our guilt. Something he does because he chose to do it. Something he did all by himself. Something only he could do. Infinite became weak and died. He lives again. He brings relief to what haunts me, what guilts me, what tears me apart inside, what torments me. He stops it. He gives me the joy he knows, the compassion he feels, the thoughts he thinks, the help I need.
Arthur Geisert said he pounded designs in sheet lead with a hammer and chisels. And ice? Well. I asked him about that too. Portions of my interview with the sculptor from September 2nd, 29th, and Oct.
24th, 2014 follow, next. Double click on images to see enlarged.
Karl Marxhausen (KM): Hello
Art. Is this a good time to ask questions?
Art Geisert (AG): Yes.
KM: So, I saw a photo of you
carving something out of ice. At first I thought it was Milt Heinrich, but then
discovered it was you. What was that you were making?
AG: I was trying to make
Abraham Lincoln. I used picks and chisels. The usual tools one chisels with.
KM: How did you get into
AG: I was doing lots of
bronze casting at Davis when I was in school there. I graduated from there. I
worked in the foundry for a year. A group of us were casting other peoples’
stuff, sculptures. I learned a lot. It was hard work and hot. I did some for
myself. Bronze angels.
AG: Later on, I sold my
bronzes for scrap. They were heavy to move around. I kept the best ones.
AG: The ceramic kilns were
in the same building as the foundry at Davis. They were casting pretty big
items. One guy was doing all these casts of elbows. He turned out to be Bruce Nauman. KM: Was he famous?
AG: Yes he was.
AG: I got my MFA at Davis in Sacramento.
AG: So, I wanted to continue
making big sculpture without a foundry.I ended up working in lead. The rolls
were four feet by 24 feet. I ordered them from Saint Louis Lead. You have to put a metal pipe through the
core of the roll and have some help to lift it up. You cut off sections with a
hammer and a chisel. I washed my hands after working with it.
KM: Isn’t lead work
AG: Lead has an accumulative
poisoning. The fumes can build up in you. Working with the furnaces
and heat and fumes, we drank bottles of milk and extra large milkshakes after
the sessions. The ingredients in milk and milkshakes can counter the poisonous
effect of lead fumes. Remedy. The heat of the furnaces was ungodly. Our boss
Jim Bruni told us to be at work 5 in the morning. We’d work from 5 in the
morning and get done early afternoon. It was hard work. Hot.
KM:I was taking
photos of your Creation Sculpture that stands in front of the Music Building at
Concordia University. I remember what you said about hammering sheet lead.
There is so much detail captured in your work. But it was the large bolts that
caught my eye. What are they bolted to? The cement?
AR: There is a steel frame underneath. A welded circular
frame. There was a six inch space on the inside of the lead and then a plywood
form for the cement. The steel frame rested on the pedestal.
AR: The concrete was in a box. Two of us did all the
work. You can guess who the two were.
KM: You and my dad (Marxie)?
AR: No, your dad was busy that day. He couldn’t be there.
KM: You and Wiegman? AR: No. Your mother. It was me and your mother (Dorris). We
shoveled the concrete into the form. The Creation sculpture. Your mother apologized
that Marx couldn’t be there. But we did all the work. There was considerable
concrete. It was no trouble.
KM: So, you used concrete for the pedestal?
AR: The pedestal was already done. We lifted the lead
onto the sculpture.
KM: And you shoveled concrete in the six inch space
between the lead and the plywood form….
AR: Yes. Plywood was put on top and lead was put on top
KM: So, when you hammered the lead, was it strong enough
to retain its shape, or did you have to lay it down on sand to hold its shape?
AR: Think of a swing set with two poles at each end and a
beam across the top. Now think of the poles being wood, two-by-fours and
two-by-sixs. Attached to the beam across the top C-clamps were used to hold the
lead section, which hung down. Suspending it. So you could hammer some on one
side and then walk around to the other side and hammer on that. There was lots
of walking around. The lead was either one-eighth or three-eighths inches
thick. A very slow process.
(Above) C-clamps hold lion face in lead done for someone's front door. The teeth were cast out of aluminum. Double click to see enlarged.
Four minute view of Creation sculpture by sculptor Arthur Geisert on location.
KM: I was looking at the owl head and all the tiny dents
around it. What did you use to hammer the tiny indentations? A chisel, a tooth
AR: Chasing tools are used to make marks in bronze. They knock
off or clear off bronze castings. I have four or five inch steel rods, one-quarter
by one-quarter inch. Old “cold chisels” with rounded off points. I use rubber
and wood mallets.
KM: You have lettering for words. How did you do that?
AR: There are punches, Steel stamps made of hardened
steel. The letters they make are commonly used for signing metal sculpture.
Sometimes used in wet clay for ceramics. Or pushed into wax forms that will be
cast in metal.
KM: Did you practice doing your letter stamping? To know
whether to strike it once or twice into the lead.
AR: I did a lot of letters before that. I practiced on
scrap lead pieces using short verses of scripture.
KM: You said, you walked around the hanging lead section.
Did you use gloves when you did the hammering?
AR: No, I did not use gloves.
KM: I am thinking about holding a chisel and hitting it
with a big mallet. Wouldn’t the mallet hit your fingers?
AR: I had been doing it a while. I was not an amateur. I
was really good at it!! No gloves, but I did wash my hands thoroughly each time
I finished working with the lead. The heavy metals are poisonous, and they will
build up in your system over a long period of time.
KM: Did you hammer the lead section outdoors?
AR: I did it in my office. I taught five years at Concordia
River Forest (Concordia University Chicago). Walt Martin was the head of the art department then.
Darlene Fahrenkrog taught art, along with Leonard Schoepp. Leonard waited in
line for the book signing of “Thunderstorm.” One of my books.
KM: Did you teach art at Concordia in Seward?
AR: Yes, I taught for one year.
KM: Where was your office?
AR: It was on the 3rd floor of Founders on the
KM: The critters on your Creation sculpture look like
they have come right out of your illustrated books. Was the sculpture done before you did your pig books?
AR: Oh yes. The books came many many years later. KM: Thanks for your time.
Here is what Prof. Reinhold Marxhausen said about the Geisert sculpture in the film "The Koenig Connection."
called The Creation is made out of hammered lead and over here you see the
words of the narration of the creation from the book of Genesis. It's
interesting that a piece of sculpture which represents God the Father is tucked
away here by the music building on the edge of campus. God is not hidden, it is
we who hide Him. And when we do that to creation, we rarely notice it and we
take it for granted. And we need to be more and more aware of the wonders of
these wonderful insects, plus all the magnificent things like galaxies and
stars and mountains too.”
work exhibits the awareness found in lemteyoso. A term I have coined
with my youth group when we make and consider the mechanisms God has
lemteyoso I can set my mind on the one who fashions tracheal tubes in
ants and beetles to breath air, the one who by-passes multi-cellular
organs, and delights in making small and delicate structures. Karl Marxhausen
Creation Sculpture Concordia. Alumnus Dr. Arthur Geisert created this sculpture,
which depicts the Genesis account of creation through images cast on a metal
cylinder. Geisert, a 1963 graduate, has enjoyed a successful career as an
illustrator and author of children’s books.” (Courtesy of http://www.cune.edu/resources/docs/Facilities/Facility-room-rental.pdf , page 25, accessed Oct.3, 2014)
- - - - - - - - - - Phone interviews took place on September 2nd, 29th, and Oct.
24th, 2014. Copyrighted by Karl Marxhausen 2015.
"Me at the Instruments - Stearing My Underwater Vessel- Complete With Sonar Equipment And Air Tanks" by Karl Marxhausen. Pencil and Wax Crayons on Paper, March 3, 1990, Norwalk, California
I'LL TELL YOU SOMETHING ABOUT MY HUSBAND KARL.
WHEN HE JOURNALS AND COLORS AND DRAWS ANDWRITES ----- WHEREVER HE IS ------IT TAKES HIM AWAY. IT MEANS SO MUCH TO HIM. REMEMBERING GOD'S PRESENCE.
Nelson Atkins Print Society Presentation: Intersections With Fred Geary - Karl Marxhausen
THIS IS THE SATISFACTION OF RESEARCH. +++ WHAT THE LORD BRINGS YOUR WAY FOR YOU TO FIND +++ AND THE ENERGY TO PURSUE THE DOORS HE OPENS.+++ BLESSED BY HIS NAME. +++ JOEL MARTY
IT WAS A YELO CAR. A BRIGHT YELO CAR. SEVERAL OF THEM. AS THEY PASSED BY, I COUNTED THEM. THEN AN IMPRESSION CAME - I WAS NOT ALONE. THAT I WOULD FIND MY DESTINATION. AND I DID. BUT IT WAS THE LARGE "K" ON THE SIDE OF THE RED BARN WITH THE WHITE CIRCLE AROUND IT THAT MADE ME CRY. MY FIRST NAME STARTS WITH A "K." AS WE PULLED INTO OHIO THERE WERE THREE OVERPASSES WE DROVE UNDER. NOT A RUSTY BROWN OR DINGY GREY. ALL THREE WERE BRIGHT CANARY "IN-YOUR-FACE" YELLOW!!! THREE IS MY FAVORITE NUMBER. HOW TO EXPLAIN IT. FOR ME, IT WAS A PRESENCE BESIDE ME, REMINDING ME I WAS BEING THOUGHT OF, I WAS NOT ALONE. OFTEN ABSENT FROM MY THINKING, SURPRISES COME. MY ANXIOUSNESS IS TAKEN AWAY. CALM SETTLES IN WHEN HIS KINDNESS COMES. karl marxhausen
"ABOUT YOUR DAD: THE BLESSING THAT CAME INTO HIS LIFE WAS CONCORDIA. THIS SETTING HELPED HIM BECOME THE PERSON HE "BECAME."AND BY SETTING I MEAN THE COLLEGE AND THE CITY OF SEWARD. NO QUESTION ABOUT IT. IT WAS THE PERFECT SPOT FOR HIM."
JACK DUENSING, SEWARD, NE.
owner of "Sundown" from Seward, NE
Welcome. In retirement my art shows up as words typed on the page. The world of Harry Alfred Fowler fascinates me. My town is a rural farm community. Fowler worked in Kansas City. He brought art folks together. I've been pursuing discovery since 2011. Like Fowler I am gleaning from many sources to share the delightful nuggets that appeal to me. I too have organized, self-published, done art, learned, tried it out. New ground, new discoveries, these fuel my dreams. A book of my own with drawings. In the meantime there are dishes to wash and daily routines to follow. Thanks to friends around the globe who have been a resource to me. History ties a name to a place and a time and then is published and used by the rest.
"SOUNDS LIKE GOD HAS BLESSED YOU WITH YOUR ART. YOU ARE AN INSPIRATION TO MANY!!"SANDY QUICK, KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI
"MAKES PERFECT SENSE TO ME, KARL. I UNDERSTAND THE PRIORITIES OF KIDS. YOUR DAD WAS JUST A "REGULAR DAD" EXCEPT THAT HE TOUCHED A LOT OF PEOPLE'S LIVES, AND THAT MADE HIM EXTRAORDINARY!!!" MATTHEW G. HANSEN, LINCOLN CAPITOL PRESERVATION ARCHITECT
"ALWAYS ENJOY YOUR BLOG, KARL --- YOUR FUN STORIES, CREATIVE WORKS, AND PHILOSOPHIES ON LIFE!! THANKS!" LOIS MEYER VOELTZ
"HOW COOL IS THAT KARL!! CONGRATULATIONS AND KEEP AT IT - YOU ARE DOING WONDERFUL WONDERFUL WORK."RICHARD HAMILTON, KANSAS CITY, MO
"KARL PAINTS WITH STRONG STROKES - SOMETIMES ALMOST SLASHES. HE SAYS IT ALL, FEARLESSLY, IN A FEW WELL CHOSEN WORDS FROM HIS PALETTE. HIS SUBJECTS ARE SIMPLE EVERYDAY THINGS THAT HOLD THE GREAT PLEASURES." PHIL CHADWICK, PAINTER, ONTARIO