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Quick Look: Kentaro Kojima


I sometimes find myself being obsessed with a form or a pattern. Whenever this happens, I let my obsession take me wherever it will. I have learned that that seems like the way I function.

Stir Series: various marble and basaltMy current obsessions are the polished little bowls connected with lines and a very controlled boxy form with curved walls.

The bowl/lines pattern emerged organically and it has been pointed out that, somehow, it resembles something Mayan (a pattern that looks like “it means something”, as my sister puts it).

The other obsession, the curved boxy form, I think has the origin in two places. One is Uchida’s forms and the other is Seattle Solstice, where I rent a space to carve. Uchida’s influence is deep in my work and I am proud of it.East and West by Kentaro Kojima

As I realized that I started to make this form after I started working in Solstice’s space, I realized that working there and interacting with Stuart and Jason (the owners of Seattle Solstice) must have something to do with it. I am convinced that their approach to shaping stone heavily influenced this form. They measure and calculate and measure and calculate before doing anything to the stone and then, they stay as accurate as long as they can. Not rushing to get to the form, but, gradually and in a very controlled manner, they get to the final surface of the stone.

That is how I am creating these forms (although, the Solstice guys tell me that my work has that “much sought after ‘hand-formed and hand-finished look’” to it…) Now I am trying to combine these two obsessions. It is exciting.

East and West II by Kentaro KojimaI am looking forward to finding more obsessions and letting them lead me to wherever they will take me!

Quick Look: Jocelyne Dodier


Jocelyne Dodier headshotIn this time and space, is Dodier an artist? Or an entrepreneur; or a sculptor; or a performer; or a scientist; or a hair stylist; or a farmer? I am definitely a little bit of all of that! Born and raised on a farm in the province of Québec, Canada, I grew up appreciating stone, contrary to many farmers who despised them. As a matter of fact stone stacks were playgrounds and each stone could incarnate treasures to be discovered. This interest for stone really reignited ten years ago, when I tackled my first carving, Cybèle, a pregnant figure, meaning the birth of my art. When I carve there is a delirium of stories coming out of the mechanics of carving. Is this normal?

Red stone: “Murmure”, marble treated with muriatic acid on a granite base, 11” X 8” X 1.75”. From half of a split stone, I immediately spotted contrasting colours: Red with distinct stripes and splashes crossing in the middle of a pink feminine silhouette surrounded with gray. By its evocative nature, this marble could only become a symbol of femininity in its entirety, including her secrets! The stone named “Murmure” speaks out loud what most women would keep intimate or secret.Approach to “Murmure”: I simply wanted to create something fluid and abstract and let the stone speak. I want it crude, which is explained by the bumps passing thru the body of the silhouette. Then the red part, which was the hardest part of the stone, would resemble a splash of water dripping or exploding and squirting. All through that dime-sized passage, we can see through and imagine the versatility, the vulnerability, the sensuality, sexuality, fertility, love, hate and the entire well-kept intimate secrets of her flesh. I simply could not resist exposing the crude and bloody femininity of her organ in all her nudity, and without camouflaging stories of her womanhood. 

Approach to “Inner Child”: At first the triangular shape of white marble did not transpire any inspiration. So, I started to feel the stone with chisels and hammers to discover what marble really is! Following some hits on the top of the stone, I found it very intimidating on the elbows and wrists, but I discovered a shape of a winter jacket hoody on a child; and voilá an ambitious piece was born. 

White marble triple image: “Inner Child”, Italian marble on layered base of white marble and oak, 8” X 11” X 8”.  details a portrait of a child playing with snowballs. A drilled heart of 3" deep in her chest defines the passion at the core of this child, the vulnerability as well as the openness to the world. It represents playful memories as a way to cheer up after a snowstorm.I researched proportions by creating a model to help me see through possible pauses. That helped me tremendously. Then I got stuck with what to do with the extra stone in the back of my figure. It was through a brainstorm session with colleagues that it was revealed to me that I would carve three snowballs in her back. The next challenge was to figure out the balance. So, I created a wire figure model. 

Then the following thing was demystifying facial expressions of children with a playful look. I looked at videos, photos and selected a special photo depicting hair, eyes, nose. I was told that this type of marble can take details, so I even did eye brows and eye lashes. 

The daring final touch was to drill a 3” deep heart to create whole-hearted emotions. The meaning would be: feeling the world in a naive and non-judgmental way, a metaphor demonstrating the desire of openness of experiencing new possibilities. 

Visit Jocelyne's website:

Quick Look: Tom Small

Tom SmallI carved Storyteller last summer for our local studio tour. The basalt column is ten feet tall and weighs 4500 pounds.

My goal was to capture the free form fluidity of line drawing in the stone and to express that energy in the final outcome. I started by quickly drawing hundreds of lines on each facet with black and white chalk.
The lines were then cut into low relief with diamond blades and silicon carbide block wheels. Strokes from the block wheel were left to show through the polish,revealing the hands and motions of the carver.It was great fun to see what unexpected shapes emerged from the intersecting lines.

Tom Small Quick LookStoryteller feels like a personal Rosetta Stone that leaves clues to an unknown culture. As a child I was fascinated by the adventures of archaeologists who deciphered Egyptian hieroglyphs. The power ofstone to carry messages from other times and spaces is a big part of my love for stone.

What message does Storyteller carry? The patterns in the stone are directly inspired by patterns in the landscape around my studio. Lately I have been studying and photographing the way Douglas Firneedles fall and are arranged by wind and rain on the ground. The direction of the wind, the flow of water, and the size and spacing of the rain drops are all shown in the needle patterns.What might at first glance appear to be random disorder reveals itself as harmonious upon deeper observation.

A couple of weeks ago I attended a glass casting workshop and while there showed a few images of Storyteller and talked about how it gives mystic clues to the secrets of natural form. After the presentation a woman told me the carving reminded her of intersecting raindrops patterns in pools and mud puddles. It was exciting and fulfilling to watch her reach out and find that on her own.

How much will we reveal about our carvings? How much will we let others discover?

A Quick Look: Lloyd Whannell

A QUICK LOOK AT LLOYD WHANNELL  Sun Catcher, Lloyd Whanell

I call this piece "Sun Catcher." It is 93" tall and is made from a salvaged wiresaw basalt offcut. I shaped the outer edge and added a metal band to create a circle for more definition. To give it a larger scale, I used a length of columnar basalt for the base.

This was one of two pieces chosen for Langley's new outdoor sculpture program, and will be on display on Second Avenue until December 2015.

There is a current call to artists for next year's sculptures. Go to for an application. The deadline for submissions is July 1, 2015.

Quick Look: by Leon White

"Patience Pays Off" By Leon White "Patience Pays Off", 17" X 14" X 8”, Brucite, Leon White

Having worked Randy Zieber’s dark green Brucite which makes wonderful plant forms, I had to try his Lime Green Brucite. I am not an abstract artist, though I try at times. At Camp B a few years ago, I had the piece of lime green and wanted to make a piece having only two large leaves. So, I asked Will Robinson to make a cut through to separate the leaves with his diamond chain saw and hoped to leave it at that. NOT! Too boring for me. I then visualized a lizard perched on one of the leaves (the top of the lizards back is where the top of the leaf was). The plan was to keep the lizard simple and stylized. But as I was carving the legs and the feet and saw how hard and strong this stone was, almost jade-like. Wanting to take advantage of its strength, I carefully carved under the tail, legs, and feet giving the lizard more life. It was then that I noticed a darker green spot in front of the lizard’s face that had a butterfly shape, serendipitous? I left it until last, questioning if this would make the sculpture too kitschy. In the end I carved the dark green butterfly which gave the lizard a reason to be perched on the leaf, hence the title. Sanding in those small tight areas, not fun, but I was happy with the end result.

Leon WhiteLeon has been a NWSSA member since 1989 having served on the board, and as sculpture exhibit chair, finding and arranging opportunities for the organization to exhibit. He is an International Award Winning artist in both painting and sculpture. His works are in private, corporate, public and museum collections and; he is a signature member in national and international organizations. Leon is represented by Matzke Fine Art Gallery & Sculpture Park on Camano Island, WA. (