This July I was invited to Port Orchard, Washington to take part in and instruct at the North West Stone Sculpture Associations (NWSSA.org) 30th sculpture symposium. Every year there are international invited guest instructors ensuring a vibrant and varied display of methods and styles. I was welcomed in Seattle airport by the president of the NWSSA Carl Nelson and made feel welcome at every step along the way.
Pilgrim Firs camp and conference center was a fantastic venue, beautiful setting, good food and kayaking and lots of coffee. On the first day I was overwhelmed by the size of the event, 80 people carving under gazebos in the sun! I set about carving a block of California Marble given to me by Carl. I decided to carve a reclining female figure, focusing on composition and negative space brought about through the process of direct carving. All around me people were carving Alabaster,Basalt, Dunite, Granite, Jade, and Soapstone. Clouds of dust rose for the first few days as sculptures took shape. It was a fascinating site to see such variety of sculptures appear from the dust. As the week went on I learned as mush as I taught and developed and interest in Jade (by all accounts and addiction, to be continued). People would come and go, chatting briefly or asking advice. All good natured, all engulfed in stone carving.Click here to read more of his blog regarding our Symposium.
I attended the Northwest Stone Sculptors Association’s Oregon symposium which was held at Camp Sisters on Suttle Lake situated on the east side of the Cascade Mountain range. The location was brand new for the Assoc. this year, having had to move from the Silver Falls location of two decades. The new location is lovely, with generous and attentive staff and a carving field among tall evergreens. Suttle Lake is just steps away, with swimming, canoeing and kayaking available.
I was invited to join this group of mostly Oregon stone carvers as a guest instructor. I gave an evening slide presentation, introducing myself and my work and acted as a mentor on the work field during the day. I am always impressed with the talent and enthusiasm of new stone carvers, and this group was no exception. As usual, once a new carver sees power tools in use, the hand tools are quickly dropped. But guiding new hands through the motions of electric and pneumatic tools is always a cautious process.
Camp Brotherhood 2013