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President's Message

President's Message Sept-Oct 2015

Carl Nelson

"What's your iconography?"

This is an important question for an artist and one that we answer unconsciously every time we shape a stone or make a mark. What we bring to that effort is the history and experience of our lives and whether it is ancient Greek and Roman, Renaissance, Abstract, Contemporary, Mickey and Minnie, anime, or smiley faces, it will be reflected in the result. At some point afterwards, when we look back at our work, we can perhaps see those icons we absorbed and hopefully something new that has been synthesized from the life we live. My hope is that, as a community of artists, we continue to engage and support one another and feed what we need to make our icons meaningful and well formed. I encourage you to continue to talk about the stuff of life and these kinds of questions. I have benefited greatly from this community and am grateful. May the coming months be filled with family, friends, and the demands of making stone chips, dust, and your own iconography.




President's Message May-June 2015

Did you get to Lakewold Gardens to  see the large outside pieces and the smaller pieces on display in the mansion? It was an excellent showing of our members work in a very nice venue; rumor has it a piece or two may have sold. They have asked us to consider showing large pieces again next spring, possibly extending the outdoor display from April until September, so think about carving something big for next year. Speaking of something big, the Bellingham "Regional Sculptors, Regional Stone" show opens June 5th. Check out the write up elsewhere in the Journal and please come to see what has been assembled. It's all stone and all NWSSA members.
Carl Nelson

Pat Barton has been successful (relentless) in working with the local Rock and Gem clubs in the Puget Sound region to display and sell our carving work. A big thanks to those members who displayed work at those shows. Pat's work has resulted in NWSSA being invited to talk at their local meetings about stone carving and coming to Camp B and Suttle Lake symposiums. Laster year, we had 2 new attendees from rock and gem clubs.

Note that our August symposium had changed locations. It is now at Suttle Lake, near Sisters, Oregon.

For me, the winter and spring was filled with carving and travel (more to follow) so the NWSSA winter/spring party didn't happen. The only consolation I can offer is a picnic in the park on June 20th. Thanks to Cyra Jane Hobson, we have a grassy area reserved at Volunteer Park in Seattle for a picnic, to display a piece or two, and to invite the public to chat and eat with us. Check out or Facebook for details and set aside June 20th as a day to socialize and enjoy time with your fellow carvers.

Until then, Carve Proud,


President's Message Mar-Apr 2015

We have a strong and supportive community that shares its hard-won knowledge. That support combined with your creative effort has produced sculpture worth sharing with the world, which is why you are now being asked display at so many outstanding and different venues. Many of you are submitting pieces for consideration and I know there’s many more of you with work that I’ve seen at symposiums, studios, and galleries that deserves to be shown to the public. Please consider taking the opportunity to submit your work to one of the upcoming shows. It’s easy to put a submission together with a quick visit to our web site:  Calls-for-Artists, download the word document, fill in the info and send it off to Cyra Jane, so the public can get to see (and buy) your work.
Carl Nelson

Speaking of our strong community, Ken Barnes is challenging 5 artists to rough out (or finish) 5 pieces during the Camp Brotherhood Symposium (July 11th to the 18th – the registration form is up on the web and you can now early bird register). It’s a tough challenge, last year he actually roughed out 4 and a half pieces (one of the stones had an “integrity problem”), just to see if it could be done. His comment to me is that organizing to do it while at Camp-B, and having pieces roughed out afterwards, created a process where a lot got done. Ken's looking to do it again this year and don't be surprised if you get a call from him. 

Ken’s challenge is on the edge of another member’s concern about finishing a piece that you start. Dan Colvin proposed a great idea to help some folks along the way: start a “Finisher’s Club”. The idea is simple, set a date (or many dates) to meet in your studio (or a friend’s studio) and talk about (or better yet, work on) a piece that you want to get to a finished state. The peer pressure alone is worth a lot. To help this idea along the way, how about declaring  Saturday April 25th, 2015 “Finishers Day.” Call up a friend, dredge out that piece languishing in the stone pile, and get it done.

Be Mindful, Positive and Carve Proud,