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Thoughts & Opinions

Bridging the Worlds: Part 2 - Juky/Aug 2003


The sculpture workshop in Wedding (a section of Berlin) was established with government funds in 1995 by bbk Berlin (a Berlin based organization for creative artists) in the former Arnheim safe factory, which is under protection as a historical monument. It is visited each year by about 150 artists, from university graduates to nationally and internationally known artists.

With 3,600 sq. meters of useable space and a hall with an overall height of 12 meters, artists have ideal and varied opportunities for creating works in metal, stone, wood, ceramic, as well as plaster and molds.

Each of the individual workshops is looked after by a workshop leader. The workshop leaders give advice (in English also) in the technical implementation of projects, provide information on the quality and properties of materials, and competent help with the elaboration of unconventional solutions to complex projects.

Metal Workshop

The metal workshop offers eight individual work spaces. With larger projects, several work spaces can be merged so that works with dimensions of 4-by-4 meters can be realized. In addition to the possibility for welding, the workshop offers numerous metal-processing machines, such as saws or bending presses for pipes, sections and plates.

Wood Workshop

The wood workshop is equipped for the processing of wood, plastics, and the production of structures and furniture sculptures. Furthermore, it provides the opportunity to create frames, platforms and superstructures for exhibition purposes.

Stone Workshop

The stone workshop is housed in the largest hall of the sculpture workshop and, in addition to eight work spaces on the ground level, offers additional work spaces in the 300 sq. meter gallery. Because of its size, the hall is suitable not only for stone work but can also be used for mounting very high and very large wood or metal works.

Plaster and Mold Workshop

The plaster and mold workshop is available to artists for the creation of molds and casts. Vinamold, the new reusable casting material, is an obvious choice for many projects and can be provided by the workshop to artists at an economical price. In addition to working with polystyrene, rubber and many other synthetic materials in the workshop, molds prepared for casting can be produced.

Ceramic Workshop

The ceramic workshop has large drying and storage spaces, especially for the use of art-in-buildings projects. For the firing of ceramic works, the Berlin workshop provides the largest kiln available to artists. A second, smaller kiln holds 300 liters. Both kilns have fine control up to 1,280o C and can also be used for heat treating glass, metal, stone, and certain synthetics materials. Work spaces and the technical requirements for work with ceramic materials are available.

Web Information

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Collecting for Carving - July/Aug 2003


Unlike most members of the Northwest Stone Sculptors Association, a few collect well over half of the stones that they carve. I have been within this minority since joining NWSSA (2001). In the last three months alone, I’ve sought stones for sculpting from Washington’s Whidbey and San Juan Islands, from California’s White, Argus, and Panamint Ranges, Jalama Beach, and Jade Cove, from Oregon’s Trout and Owyhee Ranges, and from Utah’s Raft River Range. In this two-part article, I give my reasons for seeking out so much carving material, provide useful tips for anyone wishing to take up collecting, and consider why, despite my enjoyment in finding the stones that I work, I’m increasingly open to sculpting purchased material.

So far as I can discern, my collecting for carving is impelled by five motives. It evokes warm memories of boyhood rock-hounding with family and friends. Moreover, it often satisfies my desire to experience out-of-the-way natural settings. In addition, it binds me to the resulting bounty through remembrances of the adventures of exploration and collection. It also gives me clues for learning about my found stones’ pathways from their formation long ago to my studio. Last, my collecting fulfills what may be a remnant of our species’ hunter-gatherer instinct. I suspect that others who seek out carving material are motivated by a similar set of feelings. However, I doubt that many of us do so to evade buying stones.

Finding one’s own rarely saves money.

My collecting sites are usually shorelines, river bars, deserts, and mountains. Unlike forests and fields, such places often have a profusion of rocks. But if you wish to search this abundance, do try to go when the conditions are favorable:  to the shore when low tides occur in daylight hours and, ideally, after a storm has scoured away obscuring sand; to the river when its waters are so low that you can avoid the brushy banks; to the desert when the air is cool, the breeze moderate, and the ground no more than barely moist; and to the higher mountains when the snow is gone, the annual vegetation eaten back, and the mosquitoes scarce. Hence it was not by chance that my spring collecting areas were shorelines and desert ranges. While the rivers were up then and the snow fields only partially melted, the midday tides were good and the desert temperatures comfortable.

Even so, not all went as planned.  My biggest surprise was in early May, when searching jasper in the Owyhee country of Oregon. I was caught in an intense downpour that, despite my four-wheel drive, mired me down on a remote yet graded dirt road. That evening, I hiked into tiny Rockville. Fortunately, good Samaritans there gave me a bed for the night, a big breakfast, and then help freeing my vehicle. Occasional kindnesses of this sort provide yet another incentive for collecting for carving!


Bridging the Worlds - May/June 2003

Editor:  This is the first in a two part essay.  The July/August Sculpture Northwest will have the second part.

Last fall, I came to Germany as a facilitator of a Jewish-German reconciliation project. I never imagined then that I would fall in love with one of the German participants, and would soon return to Berlin to live and work until she could move to the States. Now I am learning to bridge our different worlds. How will I sculpt while I am in Germany and what will I do with the sculptures once I am done with them?

Read more ...