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From the Editors July-August 2019

Letter from the Editors

If it were possible for us to pool our collective gratitude into writing, the words “THANK YOU!” would burst from the page with thunderous applause for our two former editors, Penelope Crittenden and Lane Tompkins.  You are two of the most considerate and generous members of the NWSSA, and that is saying a lot.  As you embrace your next adventures, know that your decades of contributions will continue to have a lasting impact.  We wish you all the best.  Now that you will have some extra time on your hands, we expect you to spend most of that time sculpting!

Penelope2017Lane Tompkins
Penelope Crittenden and Lane Tompkins

And Introducing...

This issue will be the first that I contribute to as Editor.  I am excited for the opportunity, and a bit humbled by the responsibility.  It has been my pleasure to serve as treasurer on the NWSSA board of directors for the last year, but I will be leaving that position in order to put my time and attention into this new endeavor.  For this issue to come together, special thanks are in order to Penelope and Lane for their advance work and continuing support, Nannette Davis for giving extra help during the transition, Maya Kilmer for her help with copy editing, and our contributors Doug Wiltshire and Renee Roberts, Carl Nelson, and Bruce Kleeberger.

~Benjamin Mefford

From the Editors Sept-Oct 2019

From the Editors…

I am very pleased to announce that Maya Kilmer has officially joined me on the journal team as Copy Editor.  Maya teaches English and Creative Writing courses at Oak Harbor High School, and has joined the strong community of NWSSA sculptors on Whidbey Island.  If you were at the Washington symposium you probably got to see her sculpting an ambitious stone octopus.  Welcome Maya!

Pilgrim Firs and Suttle Lake were whirlwinds of creative energy.  If you had the opportunity and privilege of attending, then I expect you are charged up with new insights and ready to apply them. Edmonia Lewis -  Death of Cleopatra 1876, marble

As you size up that next project, or that old project that’s suddenly demanding completion, perhaps consider some words of creative wisdom.  This quote from sculptor Edmonia Lewis seemed like a fitting sentiment after getting to carve among the trees at the symposiums during the days, and watch the sky for shooting stars at night.  I find it gives permission to accept that there is a reason for tolerating certain modern discomforts, and that the reason is worthwhile:

There is nothing so beautiful as the free forest. To catch a fish when you are hungry, cut the boughs of a tree, make a fire to roast it, and eat it in the open air, is the greatest of all luxuries. I would not stay a week pent up in cities if it were not for my passion for art. 
- Edmonia Lewis 

- The Death of Cleopatra, 1876, marble

Credit: Smithsonian American Art Museum

~Benjamin & Maya

From the Editors May-June 2019

Letter from the Editors

It was a little more than twenty years ago when you began seeing ournames as editors of Sculpture NorthWest. Sometimes there have been names other than ours, but we go way back.

We've loved every moment of it. Sometimes gathering stories and photos could be a challenge, but somehow, often at the last minute and always with the help of our talented layout artist, Nannette Davis, an issue appeared. Usually more or less on time. There is no way we could have done that without members sending us what they wrote about their sculpture as well as photos, so we could share their work with everyone. We are grateful to each and every one of you for your hard work and your kindness.

And for this, our last issue, we are happy to say that it will be an all color issue. Thank you NWSSA for the color cover. And thanks to our contributors: Jocelyne Dodier, Cyra Jane Hobson, James Horan and Kentaro Kojima, for your willingness to fund color images of your amazing work.

Whoever takes the helm next, will have our support as needed along with our wish that your efforts will be as rewarding to you as ours have been to both of us.

We hope you enjoy this issue.

Penelope2017Lane Tompkins
Penelope and Lane


From the Editors March-April 2019

Letter from the Editors

As we write this, there is still snow on the ground with promises of more to come. But we are a hearty lot and it would be no surprise to learn that many of us are out there carving in snowsuits. Art knows no season!

As if we haven’t had enough of the cold weather, this issue will take us just a bit further north for a visit with long time, Canadian carver, Daniel Cline. Working small or working big, he puts his artist’s touch on everything he does.

Then we head south with a stop in Portland, Oregon to see a show called CROSS+OVER. And, yes, each piece started with a cruciform.

Even further south now, to Art City in Ventura, California, home to our amazing JoAnn Duby, who gives some polishing how-tos we can all benefit from, beginner and experienced carver alike.  

In closing, remember that old adage: Stone may have forever - but we don’t. So let’s get busy out there.

May it ever be so.

Penelope2017Lane Tompkins
Penelope and Lane


From the Editors Jan-Feb 2019

Letter from the Editors

We start off the New Year with a return to a black and white cover. Don’t let that bother you. The Cathedral of St. John the Divine shows pretty well in gray scale. We enter the cathedral at the invitation of Joseph Kincannon who worked for twelve years on the extension of the south tower for that building. His is a story of luck, persistence and creativity; leading him to an ever expanding world of stone carving.

In another approach to sculpture, we are treated to a review of Bob Leverich’s project to produce outdoor granite furniture for high school students. Congratulations, Bob, for the final completion of this work.

Speaking of projects, a fortunate thirty NWSSA members enjoyed a Whidbey Island tour of Hank Nelson’s twenty acre extravaganza he calls Cloudstone. Erin Rants breaks it down for us to begin an understanding of the very long journey Hank has taken to produce the wonder that is Cloudstone.

And we meet a young man at the beginning of his stone adventure, Luke Nalker. The joy in his voice is infectious.

May it ever be so.

Penelope2017Lane Tompkins
Penelope and Lane