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Suttle Lake

2019 Camp Suttle Lake Centerfold

25th Annual International Stone Carving Symposium   •   Camp Suttle Lake   •   Sisters, Oregon   •   August 11th - 18th, 2019Suttle Lake 2018 Attendees

The NWSSA Oregon State Stone Carving Symposium brings together sculptors of all levels to collaborate, commune with nature, and carve stone.  Every year drives the art form forward by integrating new technology and ideas with ancient techniques. The outdoor group carving experience takes away the pressure of the home studio, and generates energy, inspiration, and insight to fuel the rest of the year.

Reflection  by Sabah Al-DhaherGuest Artists

Sabah Al-Dhaher was born in Nasriyah, Iraq.  At the age of 15 he was accepted to The Fine Arts Institute-Basra in Iraq, where he lived and received his training in classical art.  Sabah fled Iraq in 1991, spent two and a half years in a refugee camp in Saudi Arabia and in 1993 arrived in the US as a political refugee.  Sabah has been creating and exhibiting his work throughout the Northwest since 1995. Sabah's story has been chronicled in various media including "My Saraab", a documentary by Sarna Lapine.

Patrick Doratti has a background in digital imaging, animation and fine arts, and has studied stone sculpture in Carrara, Italy. He is currently utilizing his background in CAD with a digital robotic arm to rough out large scale stone sculptures at his studio in Nelson, B.C.Digital Robotic arm: Patrick Doratti

Stephanie Robison teaches sculpture at the City College of San Francisco and currently serves as Vice President and Educational Director for the California Sculptors Symposium. Stephanie holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Marylhurst University and a Master of Fine Arts in Sculpture from the University of Oregon.

Tom Small grew up in the Pacific Northwest and has always been inspired by the mountains, trees, and creative beings that live here. Following these themes, his daily workshops will explore those ideas, including stone in multi-media work, storytelling in stone art, and abstract exploration through cutting, drilling, and splitting stone.

Lawrence StollerLawrence Stoller is an internationally recognized, award-winning artist, sculptor, author and teacher.  He has pioneered the art of sculpting monumental transparent crystals combined with bronze, known as Megagems, which includes several of the largest gemstone sculptures in existence. Stoller was commissioned by American Express to create the centerpiece of the Eleven Tears Memorial, located across the street from Ground Zero (9/11). His collaborative hanging sculpture “Bahia” is the cornerstone of the Gemological Institute of America in Carlsbad, California. 

Mark Andrew will lead our group sculpture project for Camp Suttle Lake. This large-scale monument will continue to progress each year until completed, and all are encouraged to spend time with this magnificent piece of marble.

Richard Hestekind is renowned for creating abstract forms inspired by his reverence for Japanese aesthetic. We appreciate his mentorship of our stone community and engaging, mindful workshops.

Uchida-san demo at Suttle Lake SymposiumKazutaka Uchida is a master sculptor who has taught and influenced many NWSSA members.  The recognition of his talent is reflected in his 32 solo gallery exhibitions, 33 site-specific commissions of environmental art, and inclusion of his sculpture in 7 museum collections in Japan, France, and the U.S.

Jade Carving Workshop with Steve Sandry - Space is limited in the Jade Carving tent, so be sure to register early!  There will be an additional materials fee depending upon the size and quality of jade you select.

Tool & Safety Talks - Dan Michael of Olympia, WA will display an array of electric and pneumatic power carving tools and methods while explaining safe operation, potential hazards and proper safety protection.

MJ and Samia work on the group Monument projectFinancial Aid Thanks to our generous members and the Thursday Auction, funds are available for students, work-study and scholarship positions. For information, contact Doug Wiltshire, Symposium Director, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Suttle Lake HH Agreement

Assumption of Risk and Liability

As a participant in the Northwest Stone Sculptor Association’s Symposium retreat at Suttle Lake Camp near Sisters, OR from August 10-18th, 2019. I hereby acknowledge, affirm and represent as follows:

1: I understand and acknowledge that the retreat will take place both in and out-of-doors. I am aware of the risks associated with activities that take place out of doors, including but not limited to the hazards of traveling in unfamiliar terrain, exposure to sun, rain, wind, unexpected temperature changes and other forces of nature; exposure to poisonous plants and vegetation, wild animals and insects, and accidents or illness in remote places without medical facilities. I am aware of basic safety rules for out of door activities. I will obey and follow any further safety information, instruction or rules offered at the retreat.

2: I understand and acknowledge that the retreat will primarily involve instruction and demonstration in stone and wood handling, cutting and sculpting. I am aware of the inherent risks associated with these activities, including but not limited to respiratory and musculoskeletal hazards. I am aware of the inherent risks of handling hand and power tools. I will obey and follow any further safety information, instruction or rules offered at the retreat.

3: I represent and affirm that I am in good health and am physically fit and full capable to participate in the retreat. I have no allergies, heart problems, epilepsy, physical or mental disabilities or any other medical condition that would place me or the other participants in the retreat at risk of harm or injury.

4: I understand I am responsible for my own safety and or happiness that no one associated with the retreat shall serve as the guardian of my safety and or happiness. I also understand that I am to furnish any equipment or tools I use at the retreat and that I am solely responsible for ensuring such equipment or tools are in safe and good operating condition.

5: In consideration of an as part payment for the right to participate in the retreat and any activities that take place in association with the retreat, I hereby assume full liability for all risks associated with my participation in the retreat and expressly release and hold harmless the Northwest Stone Sculptors Association and Suttle Lake Camp, their owners, operators, agents and instructors from any and all liability, action, causes of action, debts, claims and demands of every kind and nature whatsoever which may arise out of or in connection with my participation in the retreat, including but not limited to any occurrence which may result in injury, death or other damages to me or my person. I understand that the terms of this assumption of risk of liability shall also serve as an assumption of risk and release of liability for all members of my family (including minors accompanying me), my heirs and assigns.

6:  I consent to allow NWSSA to use images of myself and/or my art in order to document this event or to promote this and other NWSSA events.

                                                                                                                Initials for     Yes ___________       No____________

7: I represent and affirm that I am over 18 years of age and that I am legally competent to sign this release of liability. I further represent and affirm that I have singed this release as my own free act.



Date: ____________  Printed Name: ______________________________________________

Signed: ______________________________________________________________________

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

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