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From the Editors

From the Editors May-June 2017

It’s spring! And summer is not far behind. Coming up on July 8-15 is our 30th Annual International Stone Carving Symposium. This symposium (formerly known as Camp Brotherhood) will take place in Port Orchard, Washington this year. See our centerfold for more information.

And as if to show how truly international we are, in this issue we present the work of Senden Blackwood, our Aussie connection, and George Pratt from Canada.

So take a break from all that carving….and/or those thoughts of carving, and enjoy the work and words behind the work, of two of our most talented members.

Penelope2017Lane Tompkins
Penelope and Lane


From the Editors March-April 2017

It has been cold carving for those of us working outside. But warmer days are coming and we’ll all be glad to see them.

The loss, in January, of our good friend Elaine MacKay, has affected us all. In tribute, we are re-running Elaine’s “Artist in the Spotlight” from the May/June 2000 issue. Reading about her art in her own words will allow us a moment to remember her.

And thanks to Kentaro Kojima, we are bringing to you the personal thoughts of two Japanese sculpture students on their week at Suttle Lake symposium. You will see our gathering from a very different perspective as Kamu and Koichiro share with us their exuberant enjoyment of this life changing experience.

Sharon Feeney has been busy, too. Her volunteer effort with four-year-olds from Gig Harbor will charm you and make you wish you could have been there to see her orchestrate their very first joyful encounters with stone sculpture. We should have all been so lucky to get started that early.

And so you don’t forget, the Women’s Spring Stone Carving event is happening in June. This issue includes all the information you need, along with the application form. The industrious Arliss Newcomb will not only be organizing the workshop but also the celebration of her 80th birthday. It’s a party.

Penelope2017Lane Tompkins
Penelope and Lane


From the Editors Jan-Feb-2017

Goodbye to the Holidays, the pieces we carved, the pieces we didn't carve; goodbye to 2016. 

Hello to a new year, new possibilities, the pieces we will carve, the pieces we hope to carve; hello to 2017.

That said, there's still enough hibernation time before spring to reflect on our processes, plan new pieces and gather our creative and material tools together. Half the fun of carving is the preparing to carve. The French have a phrase “mise en place," which means to put everything in place. Of course, being French, it’s usually about getting everything ready to cook: all your herbs and spices, utensils, pans and pots. It works well for carving as well. Getting our ideas lined up, our tools sharpened and ready, the stone, the workbench…and we’re ready to go.

We all have our own unique process. In this issue, we talk with two carvers, James Ballard and James Larson, about their processes. Usually carving is a solitary pursuit. To do it, we must be mindful of our own personal methods that have evolved along with us. However, learning how others carve in their solitary way can inform our hands and eyes in new and wonderful ways. The Realization that we are not really isolated in our solitary work, that others have the same frustrations and joys, weaves us into the larger fabric of stone sculpting. Learning how others approach similar work builds a useful connection, giving a sense of fullness to what we do.

And NWSSA gives us a chance to be part of that larger fabric. Arliss Newcomb and Mark Andrews continue the conversation about how being part of NWSSA affects them and their creative process.

So here’s to us as individuals and as part of a group. No matter how it feels sometimes, we are not alone.

Lane and Penelope

Penelope CrittendenLane Tompkins
Penelope and Lane


From the Editors Nov-Dec 2016

Many of you (hopefully all of you) may have recently received an email addressed to ‘Hello Stone Carver,’ or ‘Hello NWSSA Stone Carver.’ In it we present the idea that even though summer is over and times to gather either in larger or smaller groups have past, we can still keep in touch and foster the feeling that we are, (as in fact we are, part of a larger whole.)

You will read a few of the responses we’ve received. As you read them, we hope that you will be encouraged to send in your own feelings and thoughts about our group. The photos attached will help us put names to faces and, we hope, lend a feeling of connection through the many short days of a long winter.

Also in this issue we feature the work of Rich Hestekind. We’ve been trying to profile Rich in the Journal for years and are delighted to have his thoughts as well as photos of his spectacular and innovative work. [You will see that Rich has collaborated with Jim Ballard to display some of his pieces.]

And, if you happen to have a quarter million in change rattling around in your jeans, you might be interested in acquiring the equipment featured in the "Machine Carved Gargoyles" article. Or, for a more reasonable sum you might want to contact Patrick Doratti and see if his machine is a fit for your next high-end project.

So, until we’re next in your mail.….Happy Winter Solstice and a toast to a fulfilling and creative New Year. 

Penelope CrittendenLane Tompkins
Penelope and Lane


From the Editors Sept-Oct 2016

You have seen color photos in some issues of Sculpture NorthWest and not in others.

This may have caused you to wonder why that is. Here is the current information and pricing from our Layout Artist and Printer, Nannette Davis. Her business, QIVU Graphics, is located in Woodinville, Washington.

There are two basic ways to get color photos into the Journal. Any contributor may elect to have their images reproduced in all copies of an issue by paying $100 per page. For a two-page article and the cover, that would be $300. The other way is to order any number of copies directly from Nannette for $4 each plus shipping. Since Nannette does the layout in color and then prints each issue’s 250 copies in gray scale for NWSSA, the copies ordered by individuals can be printed with all images in color.

In each of these two ways, the member deals directly with Nannette for ordering and paying. To make arrangements for color call at 425-485-5570 or email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or go to her website at

And don’t forget that you can always get the digital Sculpture NorthWest in color at These photos are always zoomable and printable to our members.

As your editors, we are always ready to answer questions you may have about color or any other Journal related subject. 

Lane TompkinsPenelopeCrittenden

Penelope and Lane  

From the Editors July-Aug 2016

This summer issue of Sculpture NorthWest will show you raw stone direct from the quarry; how it’s turned into a finished sculpture; where to go to learn how to do that and what sculpture is like in a foreign country.

Starting with the quarry, Matt Auvinen will give us some of the details about a one hundred and fifty six year old marble quarry in California and the lucky NWSSA members who got to go along on his recent field trip.

Two of our members talk a bit about the personal journeys that resulted in the pieces shown in this issue. Cyra Jane Hobson shares her innermost thoughts while carving a lighthouse on legs and Jonna Ramey shows us her Fat Phobia versions of the 25,000 year old Venus of Willendorf.

Our Centerfold will have all the information you need to head for Sisters, Oregon to learn and share so much about carving stone on the fabulous shores of Suttle Lake in the high Cascades. Yes, our Second Annual Suttle Lake Symposium is ON. August 21 through 28. Register now.

Lane TompkinsPenelopeCrittendenAnd if you’re up for a trip to a frozen foreign country that is actually quite hot, come on along with our intrepid Roving Reporter, Michael Yeaman, as he introduces us to the sculpture of Iceland.

Penelope and Lane  

From the Editors May-June 2016


Sculpture: the art of making forms, often representational, in the round or in relief, by chiseling, carving, modeling, casting, etc.

Stone: a solid, nonmetallic mineral matter; representing something not easily malleable, i.e. hard as stone.

Tools: any devices or implements used to carry out or used in an occupation or pursuit.

Sweat: a state of anxiety; effort; denoting a laborious task or undertaking.

Inspiration: a creative force or influence on artists that stimulates the production of works of art; a sudden brilliant or timely idea

Challenge: a demanding or difficult task.

Passion: a strong, barely controllable feeling.

Chips: small pieces removed by or in the course of chopping, chipping, cutting or breaking esp. from hard material such as stone.

Transcendent moment: existing apart from the material universe.

Frustration: a state of discontent because unable to achieve one’s desire.

Swear words: offensive words used especially as an expression of anger (see Frustration)

Joy: an emotion of pleasure; extreme gladness.

Camaraderie: mutual respect and good-feeling and among (often like-minded) friends.

Satisfaction: an instance of having satisfied a desire or gratified a feeling; having met the expectations or desires of.

Accomplishment: the fulfillment or completion of a task; a thing done or achieved.

NWSSA: those who embrace all of the above.

Here’s to us all and what we do!
Lane and Penelope

From the Editors Jan-Feb 2016

A good winter’s day to all of you, though with so many sunny days it hardly seems like winter. If you can get past working with cold hands, this is carving weather. And we have a lot of carving for you to look at in this issue.

Bob Leverich is in the Artist Spotlight this time, where he shares with us his love of hard rock carving. Bob has a unique approach to sculpture design that often reveals his philosophical beliefs and hopes. As an architect, Bob is also handy with a pencil.

This handiness impressed Bill Weissinger at Camp B back in 2008. The notes Bill took at Bob’s lecture on how to use drawing in our sculpting are brought to life by the keen wit and perceptions of Bill Weissinger.

And there’s more. Leon White took a piece of lime green Brucite and transformed it into a moment in the life of a lizard on a leaf. You’ll see what we mean when you pause for a Quick Look at the sculpture Leon calls “Patience Pays Off.”

And finally, Michael Yeaman, one of our intrepid roving reporters, will tell the rest of us what fun some of us had at the annual NWSSA winter party at the studios of Ken Barnes and Adele Eustis way back in January 10th.

Sit back and enjoy your first issue of Sculpture NorthWest in the fabulous, new year of 2016.

Lane and Penelope

From the Editors Mar-Apr 2016

Now that spring is almost on its way and we can be thinking of carving without mittens, let’s celebrate with another issue of Sculpture NorthWest.

We are so pleased to finally have Kentaro Kojima standing in the Artist Spotlight. Showcasing his work has been on our short list for quite a while. In this article, Kentaro shares with us some of the geographical and emotional journeys he has taken…from Guatemala to New York to Seattle… that inform his work as an artist.

And we have two more YouTube video sites for you so you can see how a couple of other artists work stone. One modern carver using chisels and rasps in his back yard. One in an old-school, European shop using a curious looking hand driven drill.

If you were unable to make it to the second round table discussion at Batya Freidman’s Seattle house in January, don’t worry. Ken Barnes went and has provided us with an interesting recounting of the intriguing event with the long name: “What I Say Compared To What I Do – Art(ifacts).”

This year’s Seattle Flower and Garden Show is over again until next January, but Kerin Monika Hawkinson was good enough to recreate it for us in a report from the scene.

Take a moment to sit back and enjoy.

Penelope and Lane

From the Editors Nov-Dec

It appears that summer has truly packed its bag and gone elsewhere. Gone with it are our symposia and carving events and outdoor shows. 

What to do? Where to get that fix that we get from being amongst like-minded people hurling themselves and their tools at stone? Must we wait til our part of the earth once again faces the sun? No! Take heart fellow carvers. There is a whole host of tutorials and workshops available to you, as close as your key board.

In this issue we have visited two of these presentations courtesy of You Tube. Each video is unique, each inspires. And, each one has links to a seemingly inexhaustible array of styles, stones and approaches.

Our past two “Conversations” [March/April issue, asking the question “Where do you get ideas for your sculpture.” The second was in the July/August issue and asked “When is it your art?”] have not only been fun to put together, but also well-received.

 The Conversation in this issue asks the all-too-broad question “Why do you carve?” Not an easy question to answer at the best of times….but with a deadline looming? Even more so. Five of our fellow carvers have courageously shared some of their deepest feelings regarding the carving process, and we want to personally thank Bill and Doug and Ruth and Vic and Barbara for stepping up.

Our Quick Look is Brian Goldbloom who has been producing stone sculpture for public art and private collections for 30 years. He lives and works in Amboy, Washington.

So sit back and don’t worry about the rain, you can always have a private workshop in the sun from the carvers on You Tube.”

Penelope and Lane