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Symposia - General Info

Camp Brotherhood Experience

A NWSSA symposium is about learning to work with stone, the pople who carve stone, and becoming part of a larger community. Some of the students who attend think it's an "...intensely creative wonderland of a fantasy"  and  a place where you'll "...be surrounded by many positive people who are doing their work, collaborating, celebrating, and enjoying it".

Group gathering.

Bethany Moore summarized it this way:

"...at the end of day one, I had found my way with the stone, uncovering the form that I knew was held within. The days that followed got me deeper and deeper into understanding, learning through the people surrounding me, and the great workshops presented throughout the day. The open environment allows any individual, no matter their skill or knowledge, the opportunity to ask questions and feel comfortable. There is no hierarchy, no elitism, and no judgment."

One Silver Falls Experience

This is from a recent new member, Cathy Rae Smith, after her very first attendance at a Silver Falls Symposium.

"Clouds of marble dust heightened the perpetual fogging of my safety glasses. However, Alex, my mentor for the day, remedied the condensation issues, as it turned out, by providing me a decent dust mask if I promised to throw away the pitiful excuse for a mask I had been using. Foregoing the hammer and chisel after a day of minimal progress, I graduated up to the level of electric and air powered tools. I dazzled my contemporaries, I am sure, with my swift mastery of the air-powered pounding thingy and the electricity charged scrapping do-hickey, (now, don’t allow my freely tossing in all this technical jargon to intimidate).  I was a woman on a mission to pierce through the thick slab of marble. Happily, no make that triumphantly, I succeeded, with the support of kind and skilled sculptors around me."

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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