SYLACAUGA, Ala. – Local sculptor Craigger Browne’s latest masterpiece is loaded up and ready for its journey to its new home at Ivy Green in Tuscumbia.

Ivy green is the birthplace of Keller and where she was mentored by Anne Sullivan.

A reception was recently held at the B.B. Comer Memorial Library to honor Browne and his sculpture of Sullivan and Keller at the well at Ivy Green where Keller first understood speech.

The piece will be transported by Conn Equipment Thursday morning. The process of moving the marble masterpiece is meticulous. A crane will carefully pick the sculpture up and it into a truck. It will then be carefully driven to Tuscumbia. Once it arrives in Tuscumbia, the piece and its accessories will be installed. The sculpture features a running well which Browne said will give Ivy Green visitors the full experience of Keller’s first words.

The process of creating this piece was long. Browne was first approached by the Lions Club of Alabama to create the piece more than two years ago. According to Ron Seybold, coordinator of the Lions Club Centennial Celebration, the club established the Helen Keller Memorial at Keller’s home-place in 1971, and wanted Browne to create a masterpiece for the site.

The block of Sylacauga marble weighed 24,000 pounds when it arrived in “The Cage.” “The Cage” is where Browne carves stone off of S. Norton. Ave. Today, the completely finished sculpture weighs 5,000 pounds. The design of his latest work was very complex. Browne explained it was very difficult to carve in the tight spaces that were required to create this particular piece.

The detail of the piece is a sight to see. From the wrinkles in clothes to the eyes of each character, tremendous attention was paid to every aspect of the work.

After years of work on the piece, Browne told SylacaugaNews.com its time for a break. “I haven’t taken a vacation in six years,” Browne explained he has carved over 90,000 pounds of marble in that time period. “I might go to Cuba. I may to to Paris. I haven’t decided yet, but I’m going somewhere.”

Jeremy Law for SylacaugaNews.com | © 2017, SylacaugaNews.com/Marble City Media LLC. All Rights Reserved.