Content
Event Booking
Web Links
Contacts
Tags
Categories
News Feeds
Search - K2

Artist Spotlight

Artist Spotlight - Craig Breitbach

Meet Craig BrietbachsmCraigBreitbachwithRaven


Craig is one of our most recent new members. But, as you will see, he has been carving for a few years and has several public art pieces displayed in the North West. We hope you enjoy this view of his work. You can view more of his work at:
craigbreitbach.com.

"River Dance" Basalt by Craig Breitbach, Shown in Oregon CityWhat is your life history as it relates to being an artist?

Born and raised in Port Angeles on the Olympic Peninsula, I grew up with a huge appreciation for the outdoors; my dad took us fishing, hunting, hiking, and camping often. He also taught me to whittle at an early age and both my parents dallied with art, so I took what art classes I could in high school.

I was always good with my hands and mechanical things as well, so my first career was actually in aviation mechanics, first for a small commuter airline out of Port Angeles and then shortly thereafter for Alaska Airlines in Seattle. But I never lost my passion for creating art. When I stumbled across a class at Pratt Fine Art in stone sculpting in 2000, I realized I had a knack for it and was hooked immediately. Our house began acquiring rocks of all shapes and sizes."River Harmony", Basalt by Craig Breitbach

How do you get your ideas?

My art is mostly influenced by nature. I began by focusing on salmon in great, realistic detail, but now I carve many other wildlife forms.

Some of my best pieces evolved from the shape or color of the stone from which they started. Or more often I have an idea and wait until I find the ideal stone for it.

How do you develop them (by direct carving, drawing, modeling, etc.)?

I mostly sketch a carving before I start. Sometimes I make clay models to make sure the design will fit within the chosen stone. I research a lot of pictures of wildlife to try and include realistic details.

"Morning Song", Basalt by Craig BreitbachDescribe a recent piece or two.

Recently I’ve been intrigued by birds. I came across some basalt from the Columbia Gorge which has a wonderful bronze color when polished. I finished a hawk in that stone which has become one of my favorite sculptures, and am working on a series of bird sculptures in the same stone.

What do you like about them?  

The contrast of the bronze patina of the polished stone to its rough natural surface is wonderful. The accidental cut marks from a diamond blade led to a nest pattern on the base that I really like. I also made a stand for the base out of metal that is shaped like a talon and makes it more unique.

Do you work part or full time as an artist?  "Crab Tidepool" Basalt by Craig Breitbach

When the airlines were laying people off en masse, I jumped at the chance to take an early retirement and pursue my art full-time. It’s hard to believe I’ve been a full-time artist (and dad) for seven years! I’m thankful that I’ve had that opportunity.

What stones do you prefer?

I love Washington’s columnar basalt. It comes in all sizes and shapes, just ready for a sculpture to be born out of it, and the contrast between natural and polished basalt is striking. I’ve also worked in brucite, marble, alabaster, granite, and soapstone, but all my larger sculptures are in basalt.

"Falcon Pride", by Craig Breitbach, shown at Fall City Elementary SchoolWhat is your working process – do you do one piece at a time or do you   have several in process at once?

I start new pieces all the time. I like to start one while the idea is fresh in my mind, even if I won’t get around to finishing it until later. Right now I have at least five pieces in the works.

What tools do you use?

Being a mechanic and an artist, I’ve always had an addiction for tools (the right tool for the right job). I use all kinds of electric and pneumatic grinders, a core drill, diamond saws, water polishers, as well as more traditional hand tools for the finer details. I look forward to someday buying a hydraulic driven diamond chainsaw and ring saw.

"Whale of a Bench" Basalt, by Craig BreitbachWhere can people see your work?

Several Northwest cities have purchased my sculptures for public display, including Oregon City, Puyallup, Issaquah, and Fall City.  One of my favorite pieces, Whale of a Bench, is currently on loan to the Westcott Bay Reserve sculpture park on San Juan Island. I often display my smaller pieces at Up Front gallery in Issaquah. You can also visit my studio or website to see my latest work.

Where do you work?

When we built our house in Fall City six years ago, we designed a studio for me, so I have a very short commute!  I have different work areas for wood, metal, and stone, including a curtained area for the dirtiest work, although I still have dust everywhere. But I also do a lot of my stone carving outside where I have a warm water faucet (and a gantry crane for the heavy stuff).

What are you looking forward to (goals, commissions, new ideas, flights of fancy)?

I have some big ideas for groupings of large-scale sculptures for which I hope to find the right commission or callout. These groupings can tell more of a story than a single sculpture can.

What have been your satisfactions in your life as an artist?

When I finish a piece that looks as good as or better than the idea I had in my head, I am content. What makes me even happier is having others enjoy it. I am really proud to have a few large pieces in my own town; I drive by them daily and am grateful that they are in a fine location on the Snoqualmie River. 

 

Artist Spotlight - Anthony Kaufmann

Tony KaufmannMeet Anthony Kaufmann  

Tony’s stone sculpture is very colorful – so is Tony. It is because of his desire to show the fuller spectrum of his work that Tony volunteered to pay the extra cost of printing his Artist Spotlight in color. Thank you, Tony, for being the first to bring color to Sculpture NorthWest.

"Neutron Minotaur" Universal Family Series, Anthony KaufmannWho are you?

I was born in the Basalt and sage lands of rural Central Washington. On the family farm I learned the values of creative resourcefulness, self-reliance and the will to triumph or fail on my terms; I spent little to no time indoors, choosing to make playthings in the shop or explore on my dirt bike. Freedom was a big part of my youth. My family have been farmers for three generations. Plants, stone, soil and water will always be my heart’s materials. Detail of the heart; "Neutron Minotaur", Anthony Kaufmann

Why did you become an artist?

My path towards the arts has been organic in its unfolding. It was created by closed doors as much as open ones; punctuated by blind faith, will, natural sensitivities towards material and a series of fortunate apprenticeships. I never really started out to be an artist, it’s just an area that, because of my love of detail, I feel most useful in.

"Nebula Face Girl at Event Horizon", Anthony KaufmannWhat has influenced your art form?

The top four things, among many, would be:

1. The fact that entanglement theory is not a theory, Quantum entanglement is the Idea that all particles are interconnected. Based on an experiment where two photons of light were split apart and shipped 11miles from each other. One photon was altered with an electromagnetic charge and the other reacted in real time as if connected.

2. Reverence regarding the mechanisms of nature, the vastness of time.

3. Order out of Chaos

4. The freedom of smallness  

How has NWSSA influenced your work as an Artist?"Moultant Heart Venus", 2008 Anthony Kaufmann

With the community brought together by the NWSSA, I get a sense that my brand of loony is shared by others -thus a sense of confidence.

What can you tell us about your art?

I employ a philosophy of carving that allows equal say between my intent and the will of the stone. This style utilizes direct carving in an aggressive fluid process. The unfolding design process leaves plenty of room for spontaneous reaction to the stone’s mother shape and will. This embracing of passions of the now, when carving, creates a kind of crucible of inspiration in the forward steps, and a reverence in the backward steps.

'Columbria's Song', Anthony KaufmannHow do you develop your ideas?

Choosing to rework sculptural standards. Seeing (the works/the pieces/ the sculptures) as half-loaded vessels. I infuse them with the essence of the ideas garnered during the course of production.

I do not work from drawings or models of any sort, preferring ultimate freedom, employing the chaos of the journey, and the will of all factors involved.

What is the overall theme or intent of your work?'Quantum Fudo', Geologic Series, 63" x 16" c 6", Grey Granite & Italian Marble, 2010 Anthony Kaufmann

Reverence. I build speed bumps. I use beauty, mass and scale to attract. The pieces being meticulously worked inside as well as out bring people in through a soothing tactile journey. This is to bring the heart and mind out of 24 /7/365 in hopes to recalibrate to cosmic time. This is no different than Chaco Canyon or Stonehenge.

What materials do you primarily work with?

Columnar basalt, granite, onyx, marble. I like to unite stones from diverse geological situations as I would like to see humans unite from different cultural backgrounds. I love the universality of it.

'Galapagos Itakawa' 2004 Anthony KaufmannWhat is your working process?

I am truly monogamous; I only work on one sculpture at a time. When blocks or bad breaks occur I prefer to stay and hammer it out. Working towards my favorite time; when all panels/pieces fit together, the shapes have been negotiated to my liking and the will of the stone. I work towards the diamond love, the great caress that makes the stone reach out and kiss the sun.

'Our Lady of Singularity' 2003 Anthony KaufmannWhere do you exhibit your work?

I have hosted an open studio every year for the past 12 years. Lake Oswego Arts festival - Received the Jurors award. Marenakos Stonearium group show.

I have two public pieces in Seattle and one in Moses Lake. I have three pieces in private gardens.

'Sunyanata Illuminata', 6'6" x 33" x 18", .75 tons of Columnar Basalt and green granite, 1999 Anthony KaufmannHave you been influenced by any particular artist?

Yes, by Isamu Noguchi and by Kazutaka Uchida.

What have been your satisfactions in your life as an Artist?

Communication with the inner self, and sharing that conversation with others. I recently had the great joy of a special visitor to 3000bc studios: Kazutaka Uchida one of the few distant guides that spoke to me via the wind requested to see the work in person and it was the best day of my artistic life. I have survived and had tiny triumphs thus far, which gives me great hope.

What obstacles and challenges have you overcome? Three sculptures in the Universal Family Series, Anthony Kaufmann

Let me preface this answer with the statement:

They are the same obstacle that comes back in different forms, and still present a battle. I accept that!

a. cyclic poverty

b. self-doubt

c. lovers jealous of the time and attention that my dream consumed.

d. professional frustration.

e. The view by some that I am wasting my abilities on a crazy notion.

My obstacles are shared by all to some degree, and some have persevered to add their work to the great collective, and that gives me perspective and hope.

"Membrane Kiss", 2012 Anthony KaufmannWhat are you looking forward to in your professional life?

I want to finish the Planetary Series before I pass. I have one in the series done: ‘Moultant Heart Venus 2 Sings Columbria’s Song’ and eight more to go.  Anthony Kaufmann Studio Anthony Kaufmann

 

Artist Spotlight - Deborah Wilson Jade Artist

Teaching the techniques for small scale jade carving will be my mission this summer at Camp Brotherhood. What a great way to celebrate the 25th annual symposium!  DW_Head_Shot

The workshops held there in the late 90s were very popular and I expect there will be a lot of interest again. Working small scale for those sculptors who normally focus on monumental works can be a bit like cleansing the palate! What better in the middle of a long project, than to create a lovely bangle or pendant in translucent jades of many hues. Wyoming olives, Canadian chromite laden beauties from Kutcho and Cassiar B.C. will be offered for sale with my recommendations for selecting the perfect piece of jade for the ideas you have for jewelry or small carvings.

smdwjadeWe are all accustomed to tool making. I will be pleased to share with the group the way to convert a drill press into a "point carver." This has proven to be the most versatile piece of equipment for jade artists that focus on small and medium sized pieces. I hope to have 2 of them there for the workshop.

A larger jade carving of my own will be brought to the workshop to demonstrate the carving process, and tooling involved.

I will be pleased to have this opportunity to encourage those interested to pursue the art of carving jade. The renaissance is still in the making! For example, the Jade Symposium, an online global competition, was held last summer with amazing results. This year's event is unfolding as I write this, with a follow-up story to relay at the Camp Brotherhood workshop.

For more information go to my website: www.jadesymposium.com
Or email me at: www.deborahwilson.bc.ca

See you in July! Deborah

George Pratt Artist Spotlight March 2012

Calling All Sculptors. . . . !  smgeorgeatwork

This is George Pratt, a dusty senior citizen sculptor in stone from Vancouver, Canada—an old face around the NWSSA (charter member) and still excited about another symposium in July.

 

Over a busy career beginning in 1970, I've carved most stones that sculptors will encounter. I'm not your world's great sculptor (although I get it right now and again) but along the way I acquired a lot of experience carving and I'm still discovering the best tools and methods to make it happen. I take pleasure in showing others how it's done and folks around the NWSSA say I have a knack for it. Speaking of discovering, the main pleasure for me has been discovering an aspiring new sculptor at every symposium, who has talent beyond what I could ever hope for. Who will it be this year?

 

‘Rejuvenation’ by George PrattNow, to the business of Brotherhood 2012. Having produced my share of public artworks, I've concluded that granite is the ultimate stone for the job. So this year, it's all about granite carving—with an emphasis on preparing sculptors for "the big one." There are lots of tricks and lots of traps about granite carving. Above all it's hard, dirty work and it will defeat you if you don't work smart—and about working smart, there is much, much to learn. Come sit in on the workshops. Bring whatever tools you now have, along with problems and questions. Granite carving is all about problem solving. Among other things, we will be carving a group project in granite. Good news is that I'm all for light-hearted instruction—so we'll have a little fun and who knows what we might hammer out together. See you there!

Artist Spotlight - Karen Ryer

Funery Cat
by Karen Ryer
As a lawyer, I spent many, many years on the front lines of civil rights law in the San Francisco Bay Area. I retired to devote myself to learning the art of stone carving and to our two small companies (Stone Sculptors Supplies and Withywindle Gallery) here in Guerneville, California, heart of the Sonoma County wine country. I also teach beginning carving at our full service stone carving studio.
The most interesting commission work I get is from Funeria Gallery in a nearby community of Graton. The gallery specializes in art which honors folks and animals who have died.
Three years ago, I was commissioned to do the cat in the picture on this page. It was for a couple’s cat that died, and is carved from Carrara marble, hollowed out, and now holds the cat ashes. I had to get a certain expression on the cat’s face—smugness….I hope I succeeded. The couple seems quite happy with the results.
Currently, I am commissioned to do an Atlantic Puffin for human ashes. This is a real challenge, since I have to get the shape of the bird on the outside, and hollow out the inside to hold a substantial amount of ashes—humans are larger than cats. I am doing it out of Italian arabescoto marble, and enjoying learning about puffins, a bird I was not familiar with.
In addition to my commission work, our gallery and our stone and tool supply company keep me busy, and of course, the obligatory buying trips to Italy for stone and tools are an added adventure. My advice: keep on reinventing yourself and you’ll never get old.
Funery Cat 
by Karen Ryer  Karen Ryer

As a lawyer, I spent many, many years on the front lines of civil rights law in the San Francisco Bay Area. I retired to devote myself to learning the art of stone carving and to our two small companies (Stone Sculptors Supplies and Withywindle Gallery) here in Guerneville, California, heart of the Sonoma County wine country. I also teach beginning carving at our full service stone carving studio.

The most interesting commission work I get is from Funeria Gallery in a nearby community of Graton. The gallery specializes in art which honors folks and animals who have died.

Three years ago, I was commissioned to do the cat in the picture on this page. It was for a couple’s cat that died, and is carved from Carrara marble, hollowed out, and now holds the cat ashes. I had to get a certain expression on the cat’s face—smugness….I hope I succeeded. The couple seems quite happy with the results.
"Funery Cat" Carrara Marble, 16" High
Currently, I am commissioned to do an Atlantic Puffin for human ashes. This is a real challenge, since I have to get the shape of the bird on the outside, and hollow out the inside to hold a substantial amount of ashes—humans are larger than cats. I am doing it out of Italian arabescoto marble, and enjoying learning about puffins, a bird I was not familiar with. 

In addition to my commission work, our gallery and our stone and tool supply company keep me busy, and of course, the obligatory buying trips to Italy for stone and tools are an added adventure. My advice: keep on reinventing yourself and you’ll never get old.

Artist Spotlight - Synergy by Candyce Garrett

Synergy
by Candyce Garrett
syn.er.gy
noun
The interaction or cooperation of 2 or more organizations, substances, or other agents to produce a combined effect greater than the sum of their separate effects.
Synergy is the interaction of softness in curves and circles with a sharp, angular design piercing through, and red and black granites to emphasize the boldness of the design. My fascination with attempting to soften granite led me to designing something everyone could identify and interpret in their own way.
Once I had a design in mind, I drilled and broke a 6’ x 8 1/2” square African black granite slab with pins and wedges into an irregular circle. After finding the center and drawing circles to represent a target, I cut out a 14” diameter hole with my hydraulic chain saw. I then plunged the tip of the saw 2 1/2” around the inside circle and 3 1/2” deep on the outside circle. In order to soften the look, I used a diamond cup wheel to grind out the saw marks on the inner circle, then polished up to 3000 grit. I also polished the raised circles for contrast..
The red arrow, 8” thick, was cut with the chainsaw, then shaped with a 4 1/2”grinder and 4 1/2” diamond blade. The point of the arrow and the outside fan shape of the arrow were recessed, pinned and glued 1” into the black granite. The 2 pieces within the target were cut and shaped to fit between the raised areas to give the illusion the arrow is piercing through the black granit target.
Synergy
by Candyce Garrett  Candyce Garrett
syn.er.gy
noun
The interaction or cooperation of 2 or more organizations, substances, or other agents to produce a combined effect greater than the sum of their separate effects.

Synergy is the interaction of softness in curves and circles with a sharp, angular design piercing through, and red and black granites to emphasize the boldness of the design. My fascination with attempting to soften granite led me to designing something everyone could identify and interpret in their own way.

Once I had a design in mind, I drilled and broke a 6’ x 8 1/2” square African black granite slab with pins and wedges into an irregular circle. After finding the center and drawing circles to represent a target, I cut out a 14” diameter hole with my hydraulic chain saw. I then plunged the tip of the saw 2 1/2” around the inside circle and 3 1/2” deep on the outside circle. In order to soften the look, I used a diamond cup wheel to grind out the saw marks on the inner circle, then polished up to 3000 grit. I also polished the raised circles for contrast..
"Synergy" African Black Granite & Texas Red Granite, 8' x 6' x8"
The red arrow, 8” thick, was cut with the chainsaw, then shaped with a 4 1/2”grinder and 4 1/2” diamond blade. The point of the arrow and the outside fan shape of the arrow were recessed, pinned and glued 1” into the black granite. The 2 pieces within the target were cut and shaped to fit between the raised areas to give the illusion the arrow is piercing through the black granite target.