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Camp Brotherhood

Beginning Stone Carving

I’ve Never Carved a Stone!  What can I expect as a beginner?

Impressions of Camp B  by Pat Barton, Irene Blomberg & Berta Geller

Beginner Training:

Beginner Work Area: The beginner work area is set up at the edge of camp, thus allowing the teachers a semi-quiet space to teach.  Two large canopies house the work area, with tarps on the ground to catch stone chips and dust. The tents provide protection from both the sun and rain. Tables, benches and stools are provided to store tools and carve comfortably. The work area has electrical power, compressed air, and water. Students pick up and clean their work area at the end of each day.  Irene Blomberg and Tamara Buchanan

“As one fairly new to stone sculpting, I found the beginner’s tent to be a place of great support and encouragement for exploring my creativity with stone.”  Irene Blomberg

Full Time Instructors: Tamara Buchanan and Ruth Mueseler are both experienced stone sculptors. Tamara has been sculpting stone for over 25 years, and teaches at her studio on Lopez Island for the past 10 years. Ruth, from Bellingham, comes highly recommended by her former students for her thoughtful and respectful manner towards those wanting to learn stone.

Do I need to bring a stone with me?

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Summer Walks on the Pilchuck

By Karl Hufbauer     Camp-B attendees are welcome to join into before-breakfast excursions to nearby Pilchuck Creek. Those who walk this small river’s shallows and bars learn about local geology, find stones to carve, and enjoy the tranquil environs.

     The stones on the bars are freshened every year by raging floods. Most (the basalts, porphyries, gneisses, schists, serpentines and occasional grossular garnets and jades) were quarried out of the upstream terrain by the river. But some (the granites, dunites, quartzites and occasional marbles) were carried to the river’s watershed by Ice-Age glaciers. Stones that have survived the river’s rough and tumble before reaching the two-mile stretch we walk in the summers are generally of considerable hardness.

     Some searchers pay most attention to form when collecting stones, favoring either especially symmetrical ones of uniform composition or especially odd-shaped ones of exceptional toughness. Others, by contrast, give priority to stones with unusual patterning such as bold stripes or colors. Most see more stones of interest than they can possibly get back to their carving sites.

    No matter what the quantity of stone collected, virtually all who walk the Pilchuck return to the Camp-B Symposium refreshed by their experiences along the river. Some have gotten a thrill by rounding many of its bends to see new sights. Others have simply taken special pleasure in observing the play of water and light, and being soothed by the sounds of water running over rocks and the wind moving through the trees.

    With a walking stick, small bar, river shoes, and collecting bucket or bag, you can enjoy all that the Pilchuck has to offer.