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From the Editors

From the Editors Jan-Feb 2019

Letter from the Editors

We start off the New Year with a return to a black and white cover. Don’t let that bother you. The Cathedral of St. John the Divine shows pretty well in gray scale. We enter the cathedral at the invitation of Joseph Kincannon who worked for twelve years on the extension of the south tower for that building. His is a story of luck, persistence and creativity; leading him to an ever expanding world of stone carving.

In another approach to sculpture, we are treated to a review of Bob Leverich’s project to produce outdoor granite furniture for high school students. Congratulations, Bob, for the final completion of this work.

Speaking of projects, a fortunate thirty NWSSA members enjoyed a Whidbey Island tour of Hank Nelson’s twenty acre extravaganza he calls Cloudstone. Erin Rants breaks it down for us to begin an understanding of the very long journey Hank has taken to produce the wonder that is Cloudstone.

And we meet a young man at the beginning of his stone adventure, Luke Nalker. The joy in his voice is infectious.

May it ever be so.

Penelope2017Lane Tompkins
Penelope and Lane


From the Editors Nov-Dec 2018

Letter from the Editors


Welcome to the last issue of Sculpture NorthWest for 2018! 

Heading into winter we can look back and enjoy the memories of our two summer symposiums. In this issue Director Doug Wiltshire reminds us of the delightful events enjoyed at Suttle Lake this year.

Those who attended Pilgrim Firs in July, had the good fortune to meet Oliver Harwood. For those of us who missed this opportunity, here is Oliver in our Artist Spotlight. The spectrum of his work is wide ranging: moving from the most delicate of figurative to massive, towering constructions. 

And it’s time for another 1 X 1 X 1 (One Artist, One Piece, One Page). Eun Parker shares her thoughts on one of her sculptures of simple elegance. 

Our Introduction of newer members continues with "Let’s Meet….”  This time we introduce two members: Jessi Eaton from Ashland, Oregon and Grant Bowman from Seattle, Washington. 

Welcome all - newer members and members of longer standing - to this issue of Sculpture NorthWest. Enjoy!

Penelope2017Lane Tompkins
Penelope and Lane


From the Editors September October 2018

Letter from the Editors

We all wait for summer, and even though this one came with higher temperatures than we’re used to, it was wonderful to be able to get out and carve. It helps if you have shade or are carving with water. Fortunately for Dale Blankenship, all of his jade carving requires water. 

If you’ve not seen Dale’s work, you are in for a real treat. He tells us in this issue just how he goes about carving his jade wonders. Look, read and be amazed.

When you read this, our two symposiums will be over for this year. But, if you missed Pilgrim Firs, Cyra Jane Hobson, director for this year’s hullabaloo, gives us a recap about some of the delightful things that happened there.

This issue introduces a new feature, 1 x 1 x 1: One Artist, One Piece, One Page. This column will be featuring artists who may or may not have a large body of work, but who have one piece they would like to feature. They send us a photo of the piece, a photo of themselves and short answers to five questions and voilà: 1 x 1 x 1. To kick off this feature, Julianne Kohn shares her jade octopus pendant and five short facts about it.

We finish up this issue with Tamara Buchanan explaining the Japanese word Dojo and how it was applied to what we used to call the beginner’s tent at Pilgrim Firs.

Stay strong, carve stone and keep hydrated.

Penelope2017Lane Tompkins
Penelope and Lane


From the Editors July-August 2018

Letter from the Editors

Larry Lawlor is from North Bend, Washington, a little town squeezed in between Interstate 90 and the base of 4,000 foot Mount Teneriffe. Though we have happily welcomed Larry at both the Oregon and the Washington symposiums, this is his first time to be featured in Sculpture NorthWest. Though relatively new to stone carving, he has, as you will see, been very busy with his hammer and chisel.

Marching into summer, we have presented the centerfold ad for Peninsula’s Camp Pilgrim Firs, and now we have for you the Central Oregon, Suttle Lake centerfold. Isn’t it wonderful to have choices? And, of course, your choice may be to do both.

George Pratt shares with us another one of his elegant little granite carvings. This time it’s banded neck ducks and a quartz crossed egg in a bronze cup.

A popular painter by the name of Bob Ross, the man with big hair and a television show, gives us inspiration we can adapt for our work with stone.

We finish up with the joy of getting together with friends and filling a pickup with lots of newly made wooden pedestals for sculpture display at NWSSA events.  

Penelope2017Lane Tompkins
Penelope and Lane


Let's Do It In Color!

Editors’ note: As of the May/June issue, the Board has made the generous and, we think, well-advised decision, to print the cover of each subsequent issue of our newsletter, Sculpture NorthWest, in color!  
This is well-advised for numerous reasons. It not only makes the publication look more eye-catching and professional, but it may also encourage carvers who publish work in the Journal to want to have their work in color as well. The cost of color in the Journal is $75 a page. As you know, we send more than 225 Journals out every two months.  
This is wonderful publicity, not only for our group as a whole, but for each carver showcased. A powerful advertising tool for sculptors to hand out to friends, families and prospective clients. 
Many thanks to the Board for taking the lead on this new era of color.

From the Editors May-June 2018

Letter from the Editors

While the spring rains continue and you are making your symposium plans, we’ve got some things we hope you will be interested to read about.

Frank Rose, a new member from Whidbey Island, has done many portrait busts in clay, but now he will show us his first one he’s ever done in stone. You’ll gasp at his boldness in experimenting with color on the limestone, as well as his finely hand-chiseled, finished piece.

Pilgrim Firs director, Cyra Jane Hobson, will outline what we can expect during NWSSA’s 31st International Stone Carving Symposium this July. There will be something for everyone; from the beginner’s tent to jade carving tables to a granite workshop.

Do you know about the storage shed that was recently built at Camp Pilgrim Firs? Much of the NWSSA equipment, such as tents and pedestals, can be kept here all year for easy access when needed. Pat Barton tells us how, with the help of many willing volunteers, it went from an idea to a reality.

It’s always stimulating to get a group talking about whether we like sculpture that is full of complexities or ultra-simple. We have for you a comparison of two artists that were at the polar ends of that spectrum. Bernini will represent the baroque and Brancusi, the minimalist.


Penelope2017Lane Tompkins
Penelope and Lane


From the Editors Mar-Apr 2018

Letter from the Editors

Are we done with snow yet? Let’s hope so. It’s been a late winter and one to make us all wish for heated studios. Bless those of us who already have them. Or more particularly, bless those who don’t.

That’s the nice thing about June. It should be lovely weather for the Second Annual Women’s Carving Retreat in Port Hadlock this year. Begun by Arliss Newcomb in 2017, this year the helm will be taken by Ellie Hochman, who is excited about directing the 2018 event. You can read the details of where, when and how to sign up in this issue.

In keeping with concept of Women Who Carve Stone, we have put together a brief article about the founding mothers of stone carving, even though the early women carvers used a lot of wax. Those women who by virtue of hard work, formidable talents and incredible perseverance, little by little chipped away with the long accepted gender bias in the field. Their success spurred changes that resulted in women carvers flourishing all over the world. (Not to belabor it, but not unlike those NWSSA women carvers gathering in Hadlock, Washington…and…all those women who bring so much talent and enthusiasm to our yearly symposia.)

And, finally, in this issue we will be treated to an insider’s report on the North West Flower and Garden Show which was just held in Seattle. Our guide will be Monika Hawkinson who directed the effort for the NWSSA booth this year. Thank you Monika

Penelope2017Lane Tompkins
Penelope and Lane


From the Editors Jan-Feb 2018

Letter from the Editors

Hello, everyone! It may be mid-winter, but what better time to get some chores done inside, stand next to a heater, or design some brilliant new pieces for the New Year?

And of course, it’s a perfect time to make a warm drink for yourself, put your feet up and read through this issue of Sculpture NorthWest.

Vic Picou takes us south of the equator into the sun for a visit with the renowned Peruvian sculptor, Alphonso Rodrigues Medina. Many of you have watched him carving at our summer symposiums. Let’s see what Vic saw and learned during his trip to Peru a couple of months ago.

Meanwhile, back on the home front, and as you see on this issue’s cover, “Crossing Point” is revisited as the City of La Conner moves it to another location in a new waterside park. Let’s hope that in the coming months, young and old alike, will come to the park to appreciate the history as well as the feel of these NWSSA granite carvings of the type of watercraft used by two cultures that have occupied this area for so many generations.

Speaking of generations, Richard Beyer, who died in 2012, appears in an historical note sent to us by George Pratt. Richard became well known for his metal casting art, but George reminds us that stone carving had also been a part of Richard’s artistic efforts.

Just a little south of Seattle, a few months ago, Leon White installed a sculpture in Olympia. “The Wisdom Seeker” is a part of Olympia’s 2017 Water Front Exhibit. If you get down that way, take a moment to impart some of your wisdom to the “Seeker.”

If you’re not looking to impart wisdom, but rather to gain a little, “A Conversation about Marble” may just have the answer to that age-old question: “Which came first, the marble or the limestone?”

Wishing you joyful and productive 2018!

Penelope2017Lane Tompkins
Penelope and Lane


From the Editors Sept-Oct 2017

Even though there are still some good carving-weather weeks ahead, we’re coming to that time of year time when we can reflect on the summer’s accomplishments and enjoyments. To help in this reflection, we have put together what might be called a “Symposium Issue,” which focuses on both our Washington and Oregon symposiums.

[Many thanks to Symposium Directors Cyra Jane Hobson (Pilgrim Firs) and Ben Mefford (Suttle Lake) for the hundreds of hours they put in to give us two wonderful summer experiences.]

Cyra Jane Hobson, spent some of her time at Pilgrim Firs collecting the thoughts of many happy attendees. She has assembled those in a virtual word storm of thankfulness and accomplishment. Sounds like they all experienced both the expected and unexpected joys of July’s gathering.

And a few weeks later Suttle Lake symposium came along with its international flavor, accompanied by the mind-blowing experience of a total eclipse of the sun. 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.

We hope that you have been busy at your own work with stone and that you have had many of your own expected and unexpected successes while hard at work on what you just plain love doing. 

Keep on keeping on.

Penelope2017Lane Tompkins
Penelope and Lane


From the Editors July-August 2017

Hello summer, finally. Now is the time to get out there and get things done.

Ben Mefford has been getting things done. Not only a lot of stone carving, about which he has taken the time to write for this issue’s Artist in the Spotlight, but he is also this year’s director for August’s Suttle Lake Symposium. Check out the centerfold to see this year’s instructors.

And here’s a Symposium Bonus: during the symposium -- August 21 -- Suttle Lake Campground will be in the path of the total eclipse. We can’t always guarantee natural spectacles, so take advantage of this one! (Solar safety viewing glasses recommended.)

And perhaps you’ve heard about the great success of the hand-carving workshop Arliss Newcomb had in Port Hadlock on the Olympic Peninsula. Jonna Ramey, a long-time member has written about it and sent in some photos for those of us who couldn’t attend. All the men, for instance.

And finally, you will get the where and when about an exhibition of Tom Small’s stone sculpture and the release of his new book. Yes, we said book. It’s just out and we are so eager to have a look.

Think of all this carving and the fine weather as two good reasons for getting some of your own work going.

Lane and Penelope

Penelope2017Lane Tompkins
Penelope and Lane