There are several ways to approach carving a piece of stone. Of these ways there is no right way or wrong way. Only the way that best works for that artist’s mental and visual processes. Some artists will make drawings and sketches and then use them as a guide for their stonework. Other artists will make small clay models and then reproduce them in a larger form. Still there are those, like myself, who will look at a piece of stone and see the shapes already inside waiting to be released and use what’s called a “direct carving” method.
I will try and explain this last method as it is the only one I have experience with and so the only one I am able to shed some small insight on. I let the stone tell me what it wants to be. Have you ever found yourself looking at clouds in the sky while at the same time, day dreaming? Out of the blue you see shapes of things in those clouds. Well in a way this is how the stone talks to me. Hopefully, this example can give you an idea of what I’m talking about. I‘ve been carving stone now for over twenty years and although I can enter into communication with the stone at will, each time there is a sense of wonder and excitement that makes each carving an adventure!
Let me tell you a little bit about the stone. I work primarily in soapstone and alabaster from all over the world. The stone that you see as you look at one of my carvings is many millions of years old. So in an effect, you are holding pieces of this planet’s history in your hands. Every piece of stone has been formed, reformed, and changed countless times. I believe that stone has a memory of all those changes. Not a memory as we know it, but one none the less, memory stored in it’s molecular structure and make up. Although I’m unable to put it into words, this is without a doubt in my mind a big part of what it is I’m connecting with when the stone talks to me.