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Mission Vision

How We Got Started And Who We Are

The Northwest Stone Sculptors Association was founded in 1984 with the purpose of providing access to stone and stone carving tools and to promote stone sculpting in the Northwest. 

The first meetings were held in the studio of Fremont sculptor Meg Pettibone, our Founder. Her dream was to revive the dying art of carving stone. Our first NWSSA Symposium was held in 1986 in the Methow Valley On the eastern slope of the Cascade Mountains.  
A Stone and Tool Directory was published around the same time, and was updated several times. Members began to exhibit together in various locations in Seattle and Vancouver, BC. Many of us also joined together for stone collecting missions harvesting stone from the Skagit Valley, the Columbia River Valley and from Vancouver Island. 
We have since grown to include stone sculptors and associates throughout the western US, Canada, and other parts of the world. NWSSA  is a nonprofit membership organization that received federal tax exempt 501c status in l995. Our mission is to nurture the community of stone sculptors by developing educational opportunities, providing a support system to members, and facilitating interaction with regional, national, and international communities.

What We Do

NWSSA organizes major symposia in the Pacific Northwest, hosts group shows, publishes a Journal Newsletter Sculpture Northwest, houses (work in progress) online tool manual, Grindopedia, and operates a web site as well as an email discussion group.

Symposia and other Events: NWSSA has hosted annual symposia since 1987 where stone sculptors, stone and tool suppliers, and friends gather to work and play in a friendly and supportive setting. Two symposia are hosted each year: The International Stone Carving Symposium held in Mt. Vernon, Washington during July. In late August fall NWSSA hosts the Suttle Lake Symposium.

NWSSA hosts other events. During the spring, the association puts on an exhibit at the Seattle flower and garden show. This is where lots of the members pitch in to show the northwest public what we are up to. And throughout the year, we schedule Workshops on a variety of topics including Pedestal Building, Tool Sharpening and tours of stone yards including Neolithic Stone and Marenakos Stone Center.

Publications. NWSSA publishes the quarterly journal and newsletter SCULPTURE NORTHWEST containing artistic and technical articles. A popular feature of each issue is an interview with a selected member with pictures of their work. Sculpture Northwest can now be found online and is in the members only area of this site.

Email List: Over 300 people subscribe to the NWSSA Email List. Anyone interested in Stone Sculpture is invited to join.


Membership Details & Benefits


Sculpture Northwest Mar-Apr 2016

Membership in NWSSA is $50.00 per year. Members receive a subscription to our bi-monthly journal SCULPTURE NORTHWEST, voting privileges, and discounted member rates at NWSSA symposia and workshops. Newsletter subscription without membership is $35.00 (U.S.) per year. Student membership is $35.00  

Currently, there are approximately 200 members, mostly living in the western US and Canada. Leadership is provided by elected officers, a board of directors, volunteer symposium directors, and various working groups all who rotate through their positions every few years, encouraging everyone to get involved.

You don't have to be a member to attend symposia or receive the newsletter, but being a member gets you discounts and other benefits.

How we benefit

    • Community of carvers from beginner to master professional
    • Fun, inclusive environment for all levels of sculptor

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