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Dear Stone Carvers,

Due to the hazardous air quality at the camp and surrounding areas we have made the very difficult decision to cancel the 2023 Suttle Lake Symposium. This has been one of the hardest decisions we have had to make at NWSSA, but the health and safety of our participants is our first priority. We feel your pain. Some of us live 51 weeks of the year looking forward to this one week... I know, because I am one of them. However, we must put the safety of our members first.

We are now looking into other locations and dates to host an alternative symposium in late September. We look forward to informing you of opportunities on the horizon.

Thank you for your support and understanding,

NWSSA Suttle Lake Team

2023 Suttle Lake Brochure Cover29th Annual International Stone Carving Symposium • Camp Suttle Lake • Sisters, Oregon
August 28th - September 4th 2023

The NWSSA continues our tradition of bringing together world-class sculpting masters for unique opportunities to provide instruction and discuss where we are today. From classical hand tools to new high-tech machining tools and techniques, our instructors provide knowledge and inspiration for all attendees.

About the Symposium and Suttle Lake Facilities

The Northwest Stone Sculptors Association is excited to hold our annual Oregon State Stone Carving Symposium at Suttle Lake Camp! This is the 5th year we are returning to this venue, and it has become ‘home’.
The symposium is open to all levels from beginners who have never carved stone before to the experienced sculptor. Make new friends, renew old friendships and fire up the creative spirit in a rich, supportive environment.
Suttle Lake Camp is nestled on the eastern slopes of the Cascade Mountains 14 miles west of Sisters, Suttle Lake Camp is a special place where the vivid green of Western Oregon mingles with the sunny beauty of the eastern part of the state.
Tuition Includes: Accommodations, Instruction & Meals.
Symposium tuition includes single occupancy lodging in the lodge and double occupancy in the rustic style cabins with brand new semi-private shower facilities with dressing areas. Cots with a mattress are provided, bring your own sleeping bag, pillow and linens. If you prefer more privacy and comfort, there are many hotels and B&B’s located nearby in the town of Sisters.
During the early mornings or afternoons, you might find the time for a swim, paddle a boat across the lake, take a leisurely bike ride or walk along the trails nearby.

Workshops and Instruction: Our inclusive community will set up a circle of tents to carve, share, learn and be invigorated. From the beginner’s tent to the professional’s tool chest, there are ample ways to advance one’s ideas, talents and learning. 
Extensive carving sessions are interspersed with informative classes and stimulating sculpting lessons. Field mentors and instructors are available to help guide you through your challenges. Bring your gear (if you are a beginner, we have tools you can use), connect to our power, water and air sources and peruse the tools and variety of stones being carved and available for purchase from our on-site vendors.Safety Talk

Tool & Safety Talks - Jeremy Kester of Portland, OR Dan Michael of Olympia, WA will display an array of electric and pneumatic power carving tools and methods while explaining safe operation, potential hazards and proper safety protection.

Beginning Stone Carving: NWSSA provides free access to hand carving tools and tables, plus some pneumatic and power tools for beginners to use throughout the week. Instructor Sue Taves will guide beginning and intermediate stone carving students to explore basic sculptural form, processes, techniques, and concepts while addressing historical and contemporary issues in sculpture.

Mitsuo BuddhaBuddha Carving Workshop - Mitsuo Saiki will lead a workshop on carving Buddha. The class size will be limited to 7 carvers of intermediate to advanced skill level.

Slate Carving Workshop - John Thompson will demonstrate relief carving on repurposed 1” thick pool table slate with hand tools, Dremel and a small air hammer. The slate will be provided for those who wish to participate.

Jade Carving Workshop- Julianne Kohn & Steve Sandry will provide instruction to a limited number of participants in the Jade Carving tent, so be sure to register early! There will be an additional materials fee depending upon the size and quality of jade you select. 

Guest Artists and Field Mentors: 
Wimbai Ngoma - Wimbai is a Zimbabwean sculptor whose journey as an artist started in 1997 as an apprentice, rubbing shoulders with some of the best sculptors of Zimbabwe. He has won local awards and has participated in several International exhibitions, workshops and artist residencies. His work can be found in galleries in several countries. Wimbai Nogoma 
Mitsuo Saiki - Mitsuo, a third generation professional Buddha carver from Japan, is an artist who of impressive ability. We first welcomed him to Suttle Lake in 2018, and are pleased he has agreed to lead a workshop on carving Buddha.  Mistuo portrait
Uchida Kazutaka - Many of us have come to know Uchida Sensei fondly, and his roots with NWSSA are deep. This is a wonderful opportunity for participants to observe and learn from a celebrated international artist & master stone carver.  Uchida Kazutaka
MJ Anderson - M.J. of Nehalem, OR tells stories, entertains and shows how she begins the dialogue with the material to design, rough out, carve and finish a sculpture. She will discuss the themes behind her sculptures, and how ideas morph from one sculptural form to another.  MJ Anderson
Sue Taves - Sue has been sculpting for 30 years. She creates a variety of works utilizing soft and hard stone. Her themes are often derived from the natural environment, other times they result from direct carving abstracted forms in a quest for perfect lines and volumes. Sue works in a cooperative studio space with 11 other artists at the Freeland Art Studios on Whidbey Island, Washington.  Sue Taves
John Thompson - Earning a degree in art from University of North Dakota where printmaking was his major focus of study. John’s sense of wit, whimsy and humor are evident in the charming characters he creates; from large scale Missoula Carousel figures to silly birds and goofy little critters.  John Thompson in the Studio

Click to download our brochure
Click here to download a printable/mailable Registration Form

Stone and Tool Vendors:
If you have a special order, please contact the Vendor(s) prior to Camp
Bronzestone Bases – Bronzestone will come for an afternoon with a selection of polished bases in granite and other stones. 916-285-5593 or visit
Tom Urban - A selection of stone and tools from Neolithic Stone & Tom’s own inventory. Alabaster, chlorite, limestone, Kansas fence posts and a variety of marbles. Tools include diamond blades, cups, burrs and files. Call for requests and info, 541-912-2197 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Special Thanks:
To the directors and staff of Suttle Lake Camp for their hospitality, Rich Hestekind for his mentorship.

We Hope You’ll Join Us!