My wonderful stone-carving days. 

The Los Angeles County Museum hosted a wonderful King Tut Agamemnon exhibit many years ago. As I walked through the show, I was completely mesmerized by a small, delicately carved alabaster head. It was exhibited in a large plastic covered box. I stopped walking and stood in awe in front of the head. It really spoke to me. When I had a chance to catch my breath, I decided to carve stones. 

Pursuing this new passion I attended a stone carving class taught by Dick Frasier, a retired architect.

Before starting the class I purchased a small carving hammer and a large variety of stone carving chisels.

Summer was upon us and as I worked, sitting on a wooden table straddling my stone, looking up at the wall in front of me and re-reading a statement and endlessly rereading, "Just row faster."

Daily you could find me chiseling my first chiampa stone. Stones are rated on a density scale of 1-10, chiampa being one, diamonds being 10. Alabaster is a 3, marble a 4, granite a 7. 

After hammering for many hours, the head of my hammer splayed out over the original size, and the muscles in my lower arm turned into rock. 

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Three months of classes passed, and I was ready to go home to start working. My husband built me a large, waist-high sandbox, filled with fine sand, plus a small gang of sanbags, used to wedge my stones. 

Taking myself very seriously, I purchased an air compressor, a two pound jack hammer, and had special shanks put on some of my carving tools. 

When I purchased a new stone I would study the shape and color, drawing a few sketches that I felt might emerge from the stone. From the sketch I liked, I would create a small two or three inch wax miniature model with the concept that I wanted to bring out of the stone. This small bronze was my model for the main photo on this page. 

I carved stones for ten years while continuing on with my other sculptures. Soon, my metal sculptures and art exhibits consumed all of my working time. So, the stone carving days came sadly to an abrupt end.

 

 

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