I retired a few years ago and wanted to get back into stone carving. I found tremendous support and advice from folks at both the Northwest Stone Sculpture Association and Pratt Fine Arts Center. Here is a quick summary:
My first stop was Portland for an exhibit of MJ Anderson’s work. I brought a couple of my small alabaster pieces and went to the “meet the artist” event. I waited until MJ was free and nervously showed her my pieces. She liked them and asked me if I was familiar with NWSSA. I said no and she told me they were just about to start their annual symposium at Camp Brotherhood.
The next step was to join NWSSA and try to sign up for the symposium. Ben Mefford and Renee Roberts were very helpful and I was able to attend on very short notice. I was in the “Beginners Tent” overseen by Tamara Buchanan and Ruth Mueseler. They were incredibly supportive as well as many others at the event. Then Tamara told me about Pratt Fine Arts Center, where she taught. I joined and have been taking classes there from Sabah Al-Dhaher ever since and have had great encouragement and assistance from him and many others at Pratt.
Many NWSSA members attend and/or teach at Pratt. Teachers include Tamara Buchanan, Cyra Jane Hobson, Leon White, and maybe some others I missed. NWSSA Members who attend Pratt classes are too numerous to list. If you have not yet been to Pratt, you are in for a treat – the Stone Yard is a wonderful covered outdoor work space with all the tools, work tables, compressed air, and power you need for carving. In addition to Stone Carving, Pratt offers classes in painting, printing, jewelry, glass, foundry, carpentry, etc. They also make the studios available for a daily or monthly fee.
So, now that I am settled into a happy schedule of carving, I want to thank everyone from both NWSSA and Pratt who aided me along the way - everyone mentioned above and many others.
Doug “DJ” Jennings
Pratt Fine Arts Center https://www.pratt.org/
Located in Seattle’s Historic Central Area Arts & Cultural District near Pratt Park.
1902 South Main Street
Seattle, WA 98144