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President's Message

President's Message Sept-Oct 2017

From the President.... 

The last three months have been FULL of symposium preparation, symposium activity, new carving techniques, new faces, new friendships emerging, artists emerging and inspiring art. And OH! a solar eclipse.

For me, it’s now time to sit back, reflect on all this activity, and get ready for the fall and the coming year’s many opportunities.

We will be returning to Pilgrim Firs - everyone who attended agreed it is the right place to gather. Once again, big thanks to Cyra Jane and crew for pulling it off, and all you wonderful attendees. Read about it in this issue.

The Suttle Lake symposium had so much energy and great opportunities to learn, carve and get to know each other and our Japanese guest artists. Again, read about it here.

Kim Lewis brought more white marble crosses to Suttle Lake to be auctioned off, and we now have many members and two Japanese sculptors (Ida sensei and Kamu) who are contemplating a show centered around pieces made from these crosses. Michael Creger has yet to set a firm date, but it will likely be in the Portland area in the late spring. Stay tuned for details. If you have a piece you have made from a cross, please set your sights for a show in 2018.

Speaking of the coming year, plans for Marymoor Park in the city of Redmond are moving forward, and it is likely we will be asking for “large” public art from our members. Think about what you have that you would want to display and sell, and/or how NWSSA could facilitate your creating a piece to display in this potential new venue. Contact me with your ideas. Again, many thanks for the team effort to make it happen.

Similarly, for large outdoor work, Kentaro Kojima will be curating a show at Kubota gardens, between Boeing Field and Lake Washington, and will be looking for six to twelve large outdoor pieces. Keep an eye out on the Listserv for the call to artists. (Not a member of our Listserv? Join at:

There’s a lot of activity on the Olympic Peninsula and in the San Juan Islands.
Next spring, look forward to two hand carving retreats, one at Karl Matzke’s on Camano Island and the other the Women’s Retreat at the Port Hadlock distillery. (Started by Arliss Newcomb, and now in the capable hands of Ellie Hochman. Thanks, Ellie).
The other island activity is Therese Kingsbury’s SKULPT TOO event in Oak Harbor. It will be a pop-up gallery that may run for 4-5 months in a donated retail space called The Loft. Given the previous success of SKULPT, she anticipates an on-going need for sculpture from NWSSA members. If you have something for the show, please drop her a note at: (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

Learn much, share with many, and carve proud....


President's Message May-June 2017

From the President.... 
Carl Nelson

NWSSA is an impressive group and I am constantly proud to be a part the commitment. So much to talk about I'll do my best to keep it short.

First a big shout-out to Therese Kingsbury for imagining and pulling off "SKULPT," an awesomely successful five week-long event the month of April. Thirty-nine sculptures were sold, generating almost $30,000 for our member artists. Thanks to her vision, energy and effort, our community pulled together to make it happen.

Another shout-out to Marenakos for NWSSA day at their facility. It provided an opportunity to thank them (especially Scott Hackney) for their years of support and to have Rich Hestekind give a really nice overview of NWSSA's relationship with them. It was also awesome to see over thirty attendees hand carving in their workshop space. They want to try it again in that space.

Given the many opportunities to display sculpture we have scheduled a pedestal building workshop for May 21st. Check the web site for details:

Cyra Jane deserves a well done. Never say politics doesn't effect NWSSA plans, due to travel visa problems our Zimbabwe guest artist could not make it, and in her "Take 2," Cyra Janehas found an artist who has "a fab sense of humor." Read about James Horan in the Centerfold.

Finally, I've been impressed with the support our members give one another. Whether it's how to split a fifteen ton boulder or what to look for in a small knuckle boom crane truck, we help each other succeed. I am, as always, grateful.

Learn much, share with many, and carve proud....


President's Message March-April 2017

From the President.... 
Carl Nelson

Please join your fellow stone carvers at Pilgrim Firs this coming July 8 through 16. This will be our 30th year of gathering in the Puget Sound region and our first year at Camp Pilgrim Firs.Check out the website for details and if you want to add to our celebration of thirty years of symposiums, contact Cyra Jane Hobson. This facility has a number of cabins that are different than Camp-B, and two lodges that are reminiscent of Fisher Lodge.

Speaking of our website, those of you who are members, consider updating images of your work in our gallery ( and consider taking advantage of Renee’s skill to put up additional info for you. Check out what Renee did for Penelope Crittenden, Pat Barton, and George Schmerholz’s entries in the gallery. To take the next step, drop her an email (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) with your info and images. Those of you who have gallery entries and have not renewed your membership, please consider renewing before we have to archive it.

For those who have displayed work at NWSSA sponsored events, you are probably familiar with the cedar pedestals we use. The first ones were built for members and the association at workshops we held four years ago and the years following. I often have requests to hold another workshop. Because of these requests and NWSSA’s need for more pedestals, we will be holding another pedestal building workshop. Look for the announcement on the list serve or social media for the dates.

Finally, members’ response to Elaine Mackay’s passing made obvious the connection, warmth, and passion that we build with one another in our community. I feel grateful to be a part of this.

Learn much, share with many, and as Elaine would say, carve proud!


President's Message January-February 2017

From the President.... 
Carl Nelson

2016 is hardly over and I’m already seeing a fun and full next 8 months.  
The Flower and Garden Show is coming up Feb 22 - 26, 2017. Hope you have been thinking about what you want to display to those thousands who will pass by our booth. Contact Kerin Monica (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) and let her know what you’d like to display.

On Saturday, March 18, Marenakos will be holding NWSSA DAY at their facility in Preston. They are inviting their customers, suppliers and the public to come meet NWSSA members and see them work, have some free lunch, do some hand carving, see demos of Marenakos capabilities and check out their new retail tool space. Contact Pat Barton (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) to volunteer to help with setup and display of your work.

Speaking of volunteering, Ben Mefford and Cyra Jane have been working with King County Parks to install several plinths at Marymoor Park in Redmond, WA to create an on-going, rotating display of our members’ work. Marenakos will be lending us a hand and Ben will gather volunteers to help make it happen. If you would like to help, email him at (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

On June 2, 3 and 4, Arliss Newcomb has put together
a NWSSA sponsored women’s hand carving weekend with Ruth Mueseler, Tamara Buchanan and MJ Anderson instructing. She’ll have brochures at the Flower and Garden show and there will be more info in the Journal.

Speaking of the Journal, it is now possible to do gift subscriptions of the journal. Keep your clients, friends and family informed of our community’s activities by giving a $30 gift subscription to Sculpture NorthWest. Check it out 

The 2017 symposiums will have guest artists and instructors from Africa and Japan. August 20 - 27 at Suttle Lake. July 8 – 16 on the Olympic Peninsula at our new site Camp Pilgrim Firs...

Learn much, share with many, and carve proud