• Add to Collection
  • About

    About

    The Winter Fortress Hanging Sculpture by Visual Artist Grey Cross Materials Used This piece was constructed from a hand built octagon double … Read More
    The Winter Fortress Hanging Sculpture by Visual Artist Grey Cross Materials Used This piece was constructed from a hand built octagon double frame. The canvas is secured between each frame and a series of support struts rests in a cross pattern under the frame to help support its weight and size. The standing stones and buildings were crafted using dry foam that was sculpted prior to being epoxied to the canvas. Clay was used to create support for the stones and to create the various walls and cliffs. Grout was used to create the supports of the center tower to make sure that it does not sag. The trees (all except the four pines) are made from natural moss. The ramp, main gates and the monument were made from stone tile. The snow banks and hanging ice were created using a heavy dimensional fabric paint to give it depth and allow for the ice to hang. The whole sculpture is painted with metallic acrylics and overlaid with a gloss varnish. The frame itself was craved with an engravers tool and foaming glue so that it looks like part of the mountain rather than a separate frame. Developmental History The concept of an octagon frame fascinated me. I was unsure if I could build it properly. This piece was originally designed to be only a castle front, resting over an ancient map (something I will still probably do at in the future). But as the frame developed I saw the potential of doing something far more involved and redesigned the concept into a three dimensional castle. It was never meant to be a winter piece. I conceived a verdant valley filled with trees. But as the piece progressed it begged to be set in the cold and ice of a high mountain and I again changed plans to take this into account. I’ve done a lot of sculptural work using dry foam. It is light weight and much easier to use than regular Styrofoam is. But I had not thought of carving with it and had only used it as under support with a clay overlay. It took a bit of skill development to find the knack of working with it and not breaking it into pieces first. But once I figured out the best tools to use I could make any basic shape I wanted with it. As long as it is covered with a varnish it becomes hard enough to not break away and chip apart once it’s in place. Using dry foam eliminated the greater weight that crafting the whole piece primarily out of clay would have caused. There were problems along the way to completion but all were overcome. To see more about the complications of building, see the following blog post: http://greycrossstudio.blogspot.com/2014/11/complications.html If you would like to see developmental work in progress photos of this piece from its origination to its completion see the following: https://www.behance.net/wip/782379/1423353 Sculpture Stats Some interesting statistics about this sculpture. It uses: 40 feet of 1 1/2 “ board 70 pounds of wet clay (about 35 pounds once dry) 8 bottles of dimensional white paint 5 bottles of pearlescent acrylics 33 blocks of dry foam 8 different types glues & epoxies It is: 5 feet across 19 feet surface area Approximately 40 pounds in weight 12 inches from base of frame to highest point on the sculpture Pricing This piece is available for purchase. US Currency $2,500 plus shipping and handling. Please be aware that this piece requires special shipping to keep it safe from damage. For questions please contact the studio at: gcsartno@aol.com The Story of the Winter Fortress Deep in the Caradin forests where the trees meet the stark cliffs of the Montmouyer Mountains, is a deep valley where the hulking shapes of great standing pinnacles of rock stand silently. Amidst these rocks is the Winter Fortress. This ancient ruin has remained for 2,000 years, secreted in a rock strewn valley nearly 9,000 feet above the Menastar plains. Its builders are unknown. It was used many times over the centuries as a refuge during war but who originally constructed it and why they vanished are left in the mysteries of time. For all the ice and snow surrounding it, it seems its originators worshipped the sun. There are countless symbols of it within and outside its walls. Beneath it is a warren of caves hollowed out spaces. The valley is entered through great gates that now lie broken and unused but many of the caves also exit out to cleverly hidden entrances at lower levels of the mountains. One either side of the gates are massive gate houses that acted as defenses against invasion. These and the whole keep were carved directly out of the rock of the mountain. Atop the gate houses are rough ramparts that can be accessed from inside. Once inside, the valley is divided into four quarters that are secluded from each other by massive natural rock walls, but can be accessed from within. In one of these rests a rushing river that issues from deep within the mountain. This provides a constant water source to those within the fortress. Food must be brought in though as the valley rarely rises above freezing except for a few short months in midsummer. Along the outer cliff face walls are sporadic ramparts that allow a view of the countryside below. The inner keep is composed of four massive structures that are entered from stairways found in the inner ward. There are also four additional smaller buildings each bearing a red cross that can be entered from smaller stairways in each corner of the inner ward. All of these structures are also accessible from below. In the center of the inner ward is a huge tower that is accessed from four separate entries at its base. Atop this tower is a great crystal. Along the outer walls are four additional smaller crystals that form a cross pattern with the great crystal at its center. What these were used for is an unsolved mystery. There is some evidence that lends archaeologists to believe that the fortress builders were early descendants of the cult of “She Who Made the Universe”. There is a single monument in the valley that uses a script similar to that used by the priests of “She”, but there is no definitive proof of this theory. Read Less
    Published:
The Winter Fortress
 
Hanging Sculpture by Visual Artist Grey Cross
 

The Story of the Winter Fortress

Deep in the Caradin forests where the trees meet the stark cliffs of the Montmouyer Mountains, is a deep valley where the hulking shapes of great standing pinnacles of rock stand silently. Amidst these rocks is the Winter Fortress.
This ancient ruin has remained for 2,000 years, secreted in a rock strewn valley nearly 9,000 feet above the Menastar plains. Its builders are unknown. It was used many times over the centuries as a refuge during war but who originally constructed it and why they vanished are left in the mysteries of time.
For all the ice and snow surrounding it, it seems its originators worshipped the sun. There are countless symbols of it within and outside its walls. Beneath it is a warren of caves hollowed out spaces.
The valley is entered through great gates that now lie broken and unused but many of the caves also exit out to cleverly hidden entrances at lower levels of the mountains. One either side of the gates are massive gate houses that acted as defenses against invasion. These and the whole keep were carved directly out of the rock of the mountain. Atop the gate houses are rough ramparts that can be accessed from inside.
Once inside, the valley is divided into four quarters that are secluded from each other by massive natural rock walls, but can be accessed from within. In one of these rests a rushing river that issues from deep within the mountain. This provides a constant water source to those within the fortress. Food must be brought in though as the valley rarely rises above freezing except for a few short months in midsummer.  Along the outer cliff face walls are sporadic ramparts that allow a view of the countryside below.
The inner keep is composed of four massive structures that are entered from stairways found in the inner ward.  There are also four additional smaller buildings each bearing a red cross that can be entered from smaller stairways in each corner of the inner ward. All of these structures are also accessible from below.
In the center of the inner ward is a huge tower that is accessed from four separate entries at its base. Atop this tower is a great crystal. Along the outer walls are four additional smaller crystals that form a cross pattern with the great crystal at its center. What these were used for is an unsolved mystery.
There is some evidence that lends archeologists to believe that the fortress builders were early descendants of the cult of “She Who Made the Universe”. There is a single monument in the valley that uses a script similar to that used by the priests of “She”, but there is no definitive proof of this theory. 
 
 
Materials Used
 
This piece was constructed from a hand built octagon double frame. The canvas is secured between each frame and a series of support struts rests in a cross pattern under the frame to help support its weight and size. The standing stones and buildings were crafted using dry foam that was sculpted prior to being epoxied to the canvas. Clay was used to create support for the stones and to create the various walls and cliffs. Grout was used to create the supports of the center tower to make sure that it does not sag. The trees (all except the four pines) are made from natural moss. The ramp, main gates and the monument were made from stone tile. The snow banks and hanging ice were created using a heavy dimensional fabric paint to give it depth and allow for the ice to hang. The whole sculpture is painted with metallic acrylics and overlaid with a gloss varnish. The frame itself was craved with an engravers tool and foaming glue so that it looks like part of the mountain rather than a separate frame. 
 
Developmental History
 
The concept of an octagon frame fascinated me. I was unsure if I could build it properly. This piece was originally designed to be only a castle front, resting over an ancient map (something I will still probably do at in the future).  But as the frame developed I saw the potential of doing something far more involved and redesigned the concept into a three dimensional castle. It was never meant to be a winter piece. I conceived a verdant valley filled with trees. But as the piece progressed it begged to be set in the cold and ice of a high mountain and I again changed plans to take this into account.
 
I’ve done a lot of sculptural work using dry foam. It is light weight and much easier to use than regular Styrofoam is. But I had not thought of carving with it and had only used it as under support with a clay overlay. It took a bit of skill development to find the knack of working with it and not breaking it into pieces first. But once I figured out the best tools to use I could make any basic shape I wanted with it. As long as it is covered with a varnish it becomes hard enough to not break away and chip apart once it’s in place. Using dry foam eliminated the greater weight that crafting the whole piece primarily out of clay would have caused.
 
There were problems along the way to completion but all were overcome. To see more about the complications of building, see the following blog post:
 
 
If you would like to see developmental work in progress photos of this piece from its origination to its completion see the following:
 
 
Sculpture Stats
 
Some interesting statistics about this sculpture.
It uses:
40 feet of 1 1/2 “ board
70 pounds of wet clay (about 35 pounds once dry)
8 bottles of dimensional white paint
5 bottles of pearlescent acrylics
33 blocks of dry foam
8 different types glues & epoxies
 
It is:
 
5 feet across
19 feet surface area
Approximately 40 pounds in weight
12 inches from base of frame to highest point on the sculpture
 
Pricing
 
This piece is available for purchase.
US Currency $2,500 plus shipping and handling.
Please be aware that this piece requires special shipping to keep it safe from damage. For questions please contact the studio at:
 
gcsartno@aol.com