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President's Message

President's Message March-April 2017

From the President.... 
Carl Nelson

Please join your fellow stone carvers at Pilgrim Firs this coming July 8 through 16. This will be our 30th year of gathering in the Puget Sound region and our first year at Camp Pilgrim Firs.Check out the website for details and if you want to add to our celebration of thirty years of symposiums, contact Cyra Jane Hobson. This facility has a number of cabins that are different than Camp-B, and two lodges that are reminiscent of Fisher Lodge.

Speaking of our website, those of you who are members, consider updating images of your work in our gallery ( and consider taking advantage of Renee’s skill to put up additional info for you. Check out what Renee did for Penelope Crittenden, Pat Barton, and George Schmerholz’s entries in the gallery. To take the next step, drop her an email (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) with your info and images. Those of you who have gallery entries and have not renewed your membership, please consider renewing before we have to archive it.

For those who have displayed work at NWSSA sponsored events, you are probably familiar with the cedar pedestals we use. The first ones were built for members and the association at workshops we held four years ago and the years following. I often have requests to hold another workshop. Because of these requests and NWSSA’s need for more pedestals, we will be holding another pedestal building workshop. Look for the announcement on the list serve or social media for the dates.

Finally, members’ response to Elaine Mackay’s passing made obvious the connection, warmth, and passion that we build with one another in our community. I feel grateful to be a part of this.

Learn much, share with many, and as Elaine would say, carve proud!


President's Message January-February 2017

From the President.... 
Carl Nelson

2016 is hardly over and I’m already seeing a fun and full next 8 months.  
The Flower and Garden Show is coming up Feb 22 - 26, 2017. Hope you have been thinking about what you want to display to those thousands who will pass by our booth. Contact Kerin Monica (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) and let her know what you’d like to display.

On Saturday, March 18, Marenakos will be holding NWSSA DAY at their facility in Preston. They are inviting their customers, suppliers and the public to come meet NWSSA members and see them work, have some free lunch, do some hand carving, see demos of Marenakos capabilities and check out their new retail tool space. Contact Pat Barton (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) to volunteer to help with setup and display of your work.

Speaking of volunteering, Ben Mefford and Cyra Jane have been working with King County Parks to install several plinths at Marymoor Park in Redmond, WA to create an on-going, rotating display of our members’ work. Marenakos will be lending us a hand and Ben will gather volunteers to help make it happen. If you would like to help, email him at (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

On June 2, 3 and 4, Arliss Newcomb has put together
a NWSSA sponsored women’s hand carving weekend with Ruth Mueseler, Tamara Buchanan and MJ Anderson instructing. She’ll have brochures at the Flower and Garden show and there will be more info in the Journal.

Speaking of the Journal, it is now possible to do gift subscriptions of the journal. Keep your clients, friends and family informed of our community’s activities by giving a $30 gift subscription to Sculpture NorthWest. Check it out 

The 2017 symposiums will have guest artists and instructors from Africa and Japan. August 20 - 27 at Suttle Lake. July 8 – 16 on the Olympic Peninsula at our new site Camp Pilgrim Firs...

Learn much, share with many, and carve proud


President's Message Nov-Dec 2016

From the President.... 
Carl Nelson

After a five day binge of Museums, I'm ready to get back into carving. I caught myself asking, when does walking through contemporary art and 2000 years of art history turn from a learning experience to one of entertainment and amusement? And when does it activate the consumption gene? Which, if we are not careful, can take us away from that fulfilling part of learning needed to help us create better.

NWSSA Symposiums can be a binge of learning and discovery. While in the Journal, in addition to looking out on the world, showcases our members moving forward and supporting each other, each with their own approach, enthusiasm, and skill set.

Another way NWSSA helps folks learn, are the public displays of members' sculpture. The Lakewold Garden, Volunteer Park, Occidental Park, Seattle Flower and Garden Show, and various galleries, such as the Matzke Gallery and Gallery Mack, are all opportunities to see and learn about our membership's work. Requests for submission to the Flower and Garden Show (February 22-26th, 2017) will be coming up soon. Please consider displaying your recent work this year.

I also had the opportunity to visit the Noguchi Museum and Garden in NYC and found, among the pieces displayed, influences reflected in our membership's work. Because of NWSSA, I am lucky to walk into these museums, feel at home, and part of a larger community. It motivates me to get out, carve, talk and work with all of you. I hope NWSSA does the same for you.

Learn Much, Share with Many, and Carve Proud...