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Suttle Lake

Good Times at Suttle Lake 2018

Carving a Buddha: Mitsuo Saikai carving a Buddha in Texas limestoneAs the harvest time of year is upon us, I would like to take a moment to reflect on another fantastic year at Suttle Lake. There are many new developments we learned in methods, and mediums. Also, inroads to personal growth, and reconnecting with what may now be, lifelong friends. These are some of the things I have heard and experienced this year at Suttle Lake. For this I am grateful to all of you that join together to make this happen.
Community Stone: Samia Imonen and MJ Anderson carving on the community stone
The week began with the presentation of the collective stone-carving project for Suttle Lake camp. Many thanks are in order to Mark Andrew for his hard efforts and patience bringing us together as a collective in this endeavor. As seen here, all walks of attendees are encouraged to participate (Samia Imonen and MJ Anderson). This project will continue each year until completed, and all are encouraged to spend time with this magnificent piece of marble.


The teachings of our newest friend Joseph Kincannon gave us a unique perspective towards the  Jesse Eaton and Joseph Kincannon methods used in the making of the cathedrals of old Europe. His slide show was mesmerizing and informative. Jesse his apprentice from years past also accompanied Joseph and folks enjoyed their energy towards the craft. Hopefully Joseph and/or Jesse will be joining us next year as well.
Mitsuo Saikai joined us again this year as an instructor with traditional Japanese carving methods at lightning speed. He also demonstrated using Japanese tools that are now available thru Kentaro Kojima, which can be a fantastic addition to any toolbox. Kentaro purchases these tools directly from the source in Japan and would be otherwise very difficult to obtain.
Uchida sensei was honored with a lifetime achievement award and Lee Imonen graciously accepted the Hammer Award without trying to escape just before receiving it. 
Hand with blister
We had a record number in our beginner’s tent this year with 8 new people. Our instructor Stephanie Robinson is great at exciting new people to work and achieving well beyond their own personal expectations. Not unlike Tom Sawyer, but for the sake of making art.

Deborah Wilson once again shared her expertise of jade carving with the assistance of our brother Steve Sandry for another exceptional program.
Kentaro and Carl
 Moving of the community stone with Mark Andrew
Seattle Solstice returned after 5 years and amazed the crowd once again with new technologies and an update on the progress of the 10,000 year clock.

Lisa Ponder and Rich Hestekind gave a very informative discussion on memorial work within the trade from a personal perspective to a larger commercial one, both very vital areas to consider within the stone carving community.

I remain committed to carving time for the attendees during the week and this year it showed. I added an additional ten display pedestals to our show, and we used every one of them this year. Our Stone Walk was a resounding success! We sold five pieces this year. It was the best public turnout yet, and I believe it is because we are no longer competing with the High Desert Show in Bend, which is their biggest event of the year, and is now the week after ours.

We received press in Bend and Sisters over and above what we solicited. We also are on the radar for a possible art project for the city of Sisters, Oregon. Next year’s Stone Walk should prove to be even better for all of you that participate.
Joseph Kincannon presentation
The Suttle Lake symposium raised funds for shore power at our annual auction, and now it is going to be a reality. I was just informed by the camp that they are hooking up power within the budget we raised for the camp and we will no longer need to rent and feed a generator for our symposium. NWSSA should see a direct savings after next year’s symposium, which also means our rates for our attendee’s, will remain affordable.
Finally, I would like to thank our support staff, Renee Roberts, Rich Hestekind, Dan Michael, and everyone I have not mentioned for your continued hard work. I would also like to thank our Board for their time and expertise. Without them, this community of “weirdos” would not be possible. And I want to thank each of you. Connected by the creative spirit, we support one another in this endeavor unlike any other. It is our love of this art form and each other where we are at our best.
2018 NWSSA Suttle Lake Group shotUntil then, keep the chips flying and your area dusty

Doug Wiltshire

2018 Suttle Lake International Stone Carving Symposium

24th Annual International Stone Carving Symposium • Camp Suttle Lake • Sisters, Oregon • August 12th - 19th, 2018
East & West: From Classical to High-Tech
2018SLCover

The NWSSA continues our tradition of bringing together world-class sculpting masters for unique opportunities to provide instruction and discuss where we are today. From classical hand tools to new high-tech machining tools and techniques, our instructors provide knowledge and inspiration for all attendees.
About the Symposium and Suttle Lake Facilities
The Northwest Stone Sculptors Association is excited to hold our annual Oregon State Stone Carving Symposium at Suttle Lake Camp! This is the 4th year we are returning to this venue, and it feels like ‘home’.
The symposium is open to all levels from beginners who have never carved stone before to the experienced sculptor. Make new friends, renew old friendships and fire up the creative spirit in a rich, supportive environment.
Suttle Lake Camp is nestled on the eastern slopes of the Cascade Mountains 14 miles west of Sisters, Suttle Lake Camp is a special place where the vivid green of Western Oregon mingles with the sunny beauty of the eastern part of the state.

Click Here to Register Online!

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Suttle Lake Symposium 2018

Greetings fellow carvers!

Each year, when the trees and flowers bloom here in Oregon, I realize that we are only two months away from our unique event in the mountains. The gathering of friends with the common goals of learning, creating and the sharing of ideas. The synergy I feel from being with new and like-minded people in THIS experience has no boundaries and is immeasurable.

Kazutaka Uchida and Dan ColvinIt is my pleasure to have the honor of awarding Kazutaka Uchida our Lifetime Achievement Award this year for all of his involvement in NWSSA’s Oregon symposiums since their beginnings. We have been fortunate enough to foster a relationship with Japanese traditions because of his presence. This year we will also have Mitsuo Saiki as an instructor. He will demonstrate his approach to the human figure as he did with such amazing skill last year. Mitsou Saiki

It will also be my honor to present my sculpture mentor,Lee Imonen, with the Hammer Award for his years of selfless dedication and teaching to our cause. I know that he has touched the lives of almost everyone who is a NWSSA member and beyond, with his time, materials, and his infectious “Can-do spirit.”

jk headAnd Joseph Kincannon will be joining us from Texas. This will be Joseph’s first experience with NWSSA symposiums, and should prove to be a fresh perspective towards a professional’s relationship with stone.

CU at Flowershow 4Seattle Solstice will be with us again after an absence of four years. Both Jason Clauson and Stuart Kendall will be here to tell us about their latest projects, which I am sure will prove to be nothing short of remarkable.

Mark Andrew will be leading a “group monument carving event” for the venue. Jim Ballard will teach us about sandblasting stone to enable the visually impaired, Stephanie Robison will be bringing her talents as an instructor for newer students and MJ Anderson will be sharing her adventures from Italy earlier this year.

This is not a year to miss. The relationships we have developed with folks from Montana, Canada, and the Pacific Northwest make this symposium what it is; an event worth coming to every year to recharge ourselves and in turn, the communities we go home to.


Doug Wiltshire, Suttle Lake Camp Symposium DirectorWe have an extremely talented group of work studies people this year. Without your support, many young carvers would never consider stone sculpting an attainable endeavor.
Thank you all for making this happen. 

Doug Wiltshire, SL Symposium Director 2018

Registration is now open for our Annual Stone Carving Symposium near Sisters, Oregon running from August 12-19th, 2018

Selected Works from Suttle Lake Camp

Suttle Lake Symposium 2017

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.

Ben Kimura
Craig Breitbach
Larry Lawlor
Mitsuo Saiki


Ben Kimura

Ben KimuraThis sculpture is a large piece of Yule marble from Colorado. I began roughing it out in July at the Marble/Marble symposium before bringing it to Suttle Lake. It was important to me, with this piece, to do all of the finishing work by hand. So, after putting down the five-inch grinder, it was and is all hand tooling. I will probably go through way more sandpaper than I would like to admit.

Some of the progress I have made stylistically has been making it a point to tell myself that there are no rules while carving. However, there is always knowledge that I can pick up from other artists.

Ben Kimura, The TorsoI found NWSSA through an ad for the Flower and Garden Show at Volunteer Park in the Seattle Times and went there hoping someone would have advice about where to locate good stones to carve. That’s where I found out about the symposiums, and since then it has been an education, attending these get-togethers and acting as a sponge, trying to listen and learn as much technical know-how as I can, and applying that knowledge to future projects.

The form of this piece emerged through a long discourse with the stone. It was an old stone and had probably been sitting untouched for a number of years. However, underneath the dirt and grime was a pure, very hard marble that lent itself to the forms that I like to carve.

Even though the process in which I carve is a type of direct carving, it is punctuated by taking a step back and drawing the physical stone, over and over again. I believe that if you take time to draw the stone in front of you, whatever stage it is in, it will give you an idea of how you can work with the stone, where the high points in the rock are and where the forms you want to impose can lay.

Being able to attend different symposia has stoked my enthusiasm for stone carving. It was truly incredible to set up at Suttle Lake and suddenly be transported into a different world that revolves around creativity and exploration. It is great to be in a space where everyone is doing, more or less, their own individual carving, however because of the electric energy that is radiating around the field, that individual energy becomes a source that one can tap into.

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benkimura.com

Craig Breitbach
Craig Breitbach
I had a great time at the symposium again this year. The main sculpture I was working on at Suttle Lake is a new piece for the Carillon Point Marina on Lake Washington in Kirkland. This will be a two-year installation (along with my “Whale of a Bench” which had previously been displayed at San Juan Island Sculpture Park). The new sculpture, “Spirited,” is a 7 foot, 3000-pound basalt column with two salmon and a water design. I have a tight timeframe for this piece. In fact, I was only able to go to the symposium thanks to the equipment and help from Carl and Ken which enabled me to work on it there! I have to admit I have tool envy for the crane truck.…)
Craig Breitbach
The inspiration for this piece was a past sculpture installed in Oregon City, “River Dance.” (I even stopped to visit it on the way down to the symposium.) This time I am emphasizing the motion of the water more with spiral splashes that surround the salmon.

As always, I enjoy working in basalt because it has rough natural surfaces to contrast the polished and highly detailed images carved into them. But basalt is very hard, so I have to use an angle grinder, diamond grinding blades, and a Dremel for the detail work.

I am finishing the piece at my studio in Fall City and hope to install it mid to late September.

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craigbreitbach.com


Larry Lawlor
Larry Lawlor
“To Dance the Tango” Texas limestone 19 1/2” W X 20 3/4” T X 4 1/2” D

I tend to choose intimate moments for my relief carving. Here I have chosen the image of two Tango dancers in a dramatic pose, riveted on each other even though their eyes are closed. The challenge I’ve given myself is to render this image in a believable way. I wanted to create a strong composition that will keep the viewers' eyes traveling through the piece and come to center on the space between them. Finally and most importantly for me, I wanted to create the dramatic feeling and tension between the man and woman.
To Dance the Tango by Larry Lawlor
I’ve been carving for six years now. We moved to the Seattle area seven years ago following the grandkids and I happened on a StoneFest at Marenakos Rock Center with John Fisher as instructor. I’ve been hooked ever since.

I have a background in the Arts. I was a scenic and lighting designer in theater and television and have done some painting in acrylics and soft pastels.

More than half of my sculpture to date has been in deep relief carving. I like staying in the figurative mode and try to capture a moment and feeling.

What is most likely behind my choosing these themes is the desire of an elder person to revisit that core tension and feeling that is universal between humans and animals and place it in stone, making it universal yet personal.

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 Mitsuo Saiki Mitsuo Saiki

“It was my first time using limestone. It was so soft that I had to learn how to carve it as I was carving it. I found meaning in using a stone from USA to carve it. The Buddha statue reflects the one who sees it. So, it is my hope that I was able to convey that with this statue regardless of the faith of the one who sees it.”

Born in 1975, Mitsuo Saiki is a Level 1 certified Stone Masonry Technician. After becoming a student of the now-deceased stone sculptor Ryo Kato at age 18 and serving five years as his apprentice, he returned to the Saiki family business. He uses traditional hand-carving techniques to create works ranging from stone Buddhas to monuments, while also displaying his works at a variety of exhibitions and art festivals and engaging in a diverse range of professional activities.
"Jizuosama" by Mitsou Saiki
In 2005, he embarked on an ambitious two-year project to repair and restore the 300-year-old Kannon statues enshrined on Nakanojo town's sacred mountain of Takeyama. In 2014, as part of a commemorative project celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Gunma Prefecture Stone Industry Association, he carved the stone statue of the Gunma prefectural mascot "Gunma-chan" that is displayed in front of the Gunma Prefectural Government Building. He served as the Executive Committee Chairman of the 2015 Nakanojo Biennale and is known to spend his free time listening to blues with a drink in hand.

"As a stone sculptor, I try to trust my instincts as I search for the points and lines that tell me how to shape an object. However, I have come to understand that it is not the sculptor who decides how to sculpt the stone, but the stone that decides how it will be sculpted."

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saikistone.com

2017 Suttle Lake Centerfold

Suttle Lake Stone Carving SymposiumFellow stone sculptors,

It is time to come home.  Be with friends, mentors, students, and especially, take the opportunity to be present with yourself. Our symposium is an evolving form of education, a union of ideas, and a place for gathering your energy.  When we work alongside one another, it is a statement. It is a proclamation that the earth can be moved by individuals and that it can be moved in harmony through collaboration.
In August of 1987, NWSSA held our first annual international stone sculpture symposium. This landmark event coincided with a spectacular alignment of planets in our solar system, and coordinated meditation across the globe. 
In August of 2017, we will again be hosting our annual Oregon symposium at Suttle Lake. It is fitting that we will kick off this event with another celestial alignment. We will witness a total solar eclipse the morning of Monday, August 21st. The next two total solar eclipses that will even be close to Oregon occur in 2045 in northern California, and 2099 in Canada.  The next total eclipse to pass over Oregon (or Washington) will not be until June 25, 2169!  

Embrace the opportunity of a lifetime by sharing this special moment in the midst of an extreme concentration of creative energy.  
We have a full program this year that is certain to push us into new ways of thinking.  Two themes of approach and technique will frame the 2017 symposium: high-tech & traditional and east & west.  

Carl NelsonMichael BinkleyCarl Nelson and Michael Binkley will present on CNC carving and transforming computer generated designs into stone. A small CNC carving machine will be on site during the week so that we can observe the process from start to finish. M.j. Anderson will follow this up by giving a field demonstration on carving Italian marble and will be carving and mentoring through the week. Keith Philips, resident artist of Tenino quarry, will visit and talk about traditional techniques for hand carving sandstone.End of copy on the left side of circle.Uchida-san

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