As a professional sculptor in stone, I have been repeatedly asked how I carve marble, limestone and alabaster by hand and whether or not I would offer classes in my carving studio. Stone carving is an ancient art that is not often taught in the U.S.A. Over the last 8 years, I have been able to refine my craft and I am now ready to share it with others in person.
I began sharing my craft by filming my techniques and releasing How To videos on YouTube, Instagram and Facebook. To date, I have released over 25 videos about the stone carving process, some with teaching kids and other techniques like casting and recycling stone waste. I regularly answer online questions and engage with viewers and most express a lot of curiosity about this ancient medium and wish to learn more about it. I do my best with online advice but in person workshops would be easier now that Covid-19 restrictions have been lifted.
A major barrier to stone carving is the cost of tools and stone. A student set would cost approximately $175 for chisels, rasps and hammer. A local facility has tried to offer stone carving classes but students must pay for tools and so no classes have run.
For classes, I would teach students the traditional methods of carving stone by hand with manual tools. Instead of harder stone grades like marble or limestone, students would begin with Alabaster. Alabaster is a lightly colored, translucent, soft stone that has been used throughout the world for stone objects. Since ancient times, it has been used to create small items like perfume bottles to life size statues. Its softness makes it a perfect beginner carving stone, while the translucency makes it quite beautiful as a piece of art.
Upon receiving this grant, I can purchase 5 tool sets and be able to offer 1 free class to 5 students. After that class, since I will have the tool kits, future students will only need to purchase their own alabaster blocks and pay a workshop fee to learn the art of stone carving and that will be awesome and affordable.
Funded by Chicago, IL (October 2022)