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Tom SmallI carved Storyteller last summer for our local studio tour. The basalt column is ten feet tall and weighs 4500 pounds.

My goal was to capture the free form fluidity of line drawing in the stone and to express that energy in the final outcome. I started by quickly drawing hundreds of lines on each facet with black and white chalk.
The lines were then cut into low relief with diamond blades and silicon carbide block wheels. Strokes from the block wheel were left to show through the polish,revealing the hands and motions of the carver.It was great fun to see what unexpected shapes emerged from the intersecting lines.

Tom Small Quick LookStoryteller feels like a personal Rosetta Stone that leaves clues to an unknown culture. As a child I was fascinated by the adventures of archaeologists who deciphered Egyptian hieroglyphs. The power ofstone to carry messages from other times and spaces is a big part of my love for stone.

What message does Storyteller carry? The patterns in the stone are directly inspired by patterns in the landscape around my studio. Lately I have been studying and photographing the way Douglas Firneedles fall and are arranged by wind and rain on the ground. The direction of the wind, the flow of water, and the size and spacing of the rain drops are all shown in the needle patterns.What might at first glance appear to be random disorder reveals itself as harmonious upon deeper observation.

A couple of weeks ago I attended a glass casting workshop and while there showed a few images of Storyteller and talked about how it gives mystic clues to the secrets of natural form. After the presentation a woman told me the carving reminded her of intersecting raindrops patterns in pools and mud puddles. It was exciting and fulfilling to watch her reach out and find that on her own.

How much will we reveal about our carvings? How much will we let others discover?