Not too long ago, Chris Miller took a camping trip. It was for relaxation but he was also seeking inspiration for his next art creation. He found it — a perfectly patinaed 1940 Chevrolet pickup truck.
The 80-year-old truck prompted an idea for Miller’s second elaborate work of automotive art — his second stone truck.
Eight years after he made his first stone truck, Miller has created another. He’s also kept Ford Motor Company true to its word in an astonishing way.
Miller, a sculptor who lives Maples Corner, a hamlet outside Calais, Vermont, began carving about 45 years ago. He works in granite, wood and marble, and his work is featured in private collections and sculpture galleries.
Nothing quite like at stone truck
Appreciative of vintage cars and trucks, particularly those abandoned and accumulating patina, Miller’s first stone truck was built near his home in Maples Corner, a hamlet just outside of Calais in 2012. It inspired was inspired by a stone creation of a Volkswagen Beetle built in Ithaca, New York.
Miller’s just-completed second truck was commissioned and is far more elaborate. It’s perched in front of a massive new car wash in McDonough, Georgia, located 30 minutes south of Atlanta on I-75.
Like his first stone truck, Miller’s second creation was a hefty task. It took 45,00 pounds of stone, 350 hours of work (280 of Miller’s and 70 hours of others’ labor). The project also included the consumption of eight gallons of Gatorade.
Ford spent millions of dollars on research and introduced a new slogan in 1998, “Built to Last.” Ford also began to use the term “Built Ford Tough.” And Ford trucks generally last a long time, but likely not as long as a Ford truck made in stone.
According to his bio on www.chrimillerstudio.com, Miller is primarily self-taught, although he studied art in college. He also studied anatomy and sculpture with the late Lothar Werslin of Sandgate Vt., and drawing and anatomy under Billy Brauer of Warren Vt. He’s collaborated with several stone sculptors in nearby Barre Vt.
Miller stone truck was inspired by a vintage truck he viewed while combining a vacation and hopeful aspiration with his partner and on a country voyage in Georgia. He found what he was seeking.