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From the Editors Mar-Apr 2018

Letter from the Editors

Are we done with snow yet? Let’s hope so. It’s been a late winter and one to make us all wish for heated studios. Bless those of us who already have them. Or more particularly, bless those who don’t.

That’s the nice thing about June. It should be lovely weather for the Second Annual Women’s Carving Retreat in Port Hadlock this year. Begun by Arliss Newcomb in 2017, this year the helm will be taken by Ellie Hochman, who is excited about directing the 2018 event. You can read the details of where, when and how to sign up in this issue.

In keeping with concept of Women Who Carve Stone, we have put together a brief article about the founding mothers of stone carving, even though the early women carvers used a lot of wax. Those women who by virtue of hard work, formidable talents and incredible perseverance, little by little chipped away with the long accepted gender bias in the field. Their success spurred changes that resulted in women carvers flourishing all over the world. (Not to belabor it, but not unlike those NWSSA women carvers gathering in Hadlock, Washington…and…all those women who bring so much talent and enthusiasm to our yearly symposia.)

And, finally, in this issue we will be treated to an insider’s report on the North West Flower and Garden Show which was just held in Seattle. Our guide will be Monika Hawkinson who directed the effort for the NWSSA booth this year. Thank you Monika

Penelope2017Lane Tompkins
Penelope and Lane


From the Editors Jan-Feb 2018

Letter from the Editors

Hello, everyone! It may be mid-winter, but what better time to get some chores done inside, stand next to a heater, or design some brilliant new pieces for the New Year?

And of course, it’s a perfect time to make a warm drink for yourself, put your feet up and read through this issue of Sculpture NorthWest.

Vic Picou takes us south of the equator into the sun for a visit with the renowned Peruvian sculptor, Alphonso Rodrigues Medina. Many of you have watched him carving at our summer symposiums. Let’s see what Vic saw and learned during his trip to Peru a couple of months ago.

Meanwhile, back on the home front, and as you see on this issue’s cover, “Crossing Point” is revisited as the City of La Conner moves it to another location in a new waterside park. Let’s hope that in the coming months, young and old alike, will come to the park to appreciate the history as well as the feel of these NWSSA granite carvings of the type of watercraft used by two cultures that have occupied this area for so many generations.

Speaking of generations, Richard Beyer, who died in 2012, appears in an historical note sent to us by George Pratt. Richard became well known for his metal casting art, but George reminds us that stone carving had also been a part of Richard’s artistic efforts.

Just a little south of Seattle, a few months ago, Leon White installed a sculpture in Olympia. “The Wisdom Seeker” is a part of Olympia’s 2017 Water Front Exhibit. If you get down that way, take a moment to impart some of your wisdom to the “Seeker.”

If you’re not looking to impart wisdom, but rather to gain a little, “A Conversation about Marble” may just have the answer to that age-old question: “Which came first, the marble or the limestone?”

Wishing you joyful and productive 2018!

Penelope2017Lane Tompkins
Penelope and Lane


From the Editors Sept-Oct 2017

Even though there are still some good carving-weather weeks ahead, we’re coming to that time of year time when we can reflect on the summer’s accomplishments and enjoyments. To help in this reflection, we have put together what might be called a “Symposium Issue,” which focuses on both our Washington and Oregon symposiums.

[Many thanks to Symposium Directors Cyra Jane Hobson (Pilgrim Firs) and Ben Mefford (Suttle Lake) for the hundreds of hours they put in to give us two wonderful summer experiences.]

Cyra Jane Hobson, spent some of her time at Pilgrim Firs collecting the thoughts of many happy attendees. She has assembled those in a virtual word storm of thankfulness and accomplishment. Sounds like they all experienced both the expected and unexpected joys of July’s gathering.

And a few weeks later Suttle Lake symposium came along with its international flavor, accompanied by the mind-blowing experience of a total eclipse of the sun. Four carvers volunteered to tell us about the stones they worked on while there. The pieces range in size from 12 pounds to 3,000 pounds; not so unusual a spread for NWSSA stoners.

We hope that you have been busy at your own work with stone and that you have had many of your own expected and unexpected successes while hard at work on what you just plain love doing. 

Keep on keeping on.

Penelope2017Lane Tompkins
Penelope and Lane


From the Editors July-August 2017

Hello summer, finally. Now is the time to get out there and get things done.

Ben Mefford has been getting things done. Not only a lot of stone carving, about which he has taken the time to write for this issue’s Artist in the Spotlight, but he is also this year’s director for August’s Suttle Lake Symposium. Check out the centerfold to see this year’s instructors.

And here’s a Symposium Bonus: during the symposium -- August 21 -- Suttle Lake Campground will be in the path of the total eclipse. We can’t always guarantee natural spectacles, so take advantage of this one! (Solar safety viewing glasses recommended.)

And perhaps you’ve heard about the great success of the hand-carving workshop Arliss Newcomb had in Port Hadlock on the Olympic Peninsula. Jonna Ramey, a long-time member has written about it and sent in some photos for those of us who couldn’t attend. All the men, for instance.

And finally, you will get the where and when about an exhibition of Tom Small’s stone sculpture and the release of his new book. Yes, we said book. It’s just out and we are so eager to have a look.

Think of all this carving and the fine weather as two good reasons for getting some of your own work going.

Lane and Penelope

Penelope2017Lane Tompkins
Penelope and Lane


From the Editors May-June 2017

It’s spring! And summer is not far behind. Coming up on July 8-15 is our 30th Annual International Stone Carving Symposium. This symposium (formerly known as Camp Brotherhood) will take place in Port Orchard, Washington this year. See our centerfold for more information.

And as if to show how truly international we are, in this issue we present the work of Senden Blackwood, our Aussie connection, and George Pratt from Canada.

So take a break from all that carving….and/or those thoughts of carving, and enjoy the work and words behind the work, of two of our most talented members.

Penelope2017Lane Tompkins
Penelope and Lane