So Much Stone

Notice I did not say “too much stone.” Stone is one of those things you can’t have too much of; like good health or love. Everywhere you turn there is stone; the tile, curbs, window sills, and sinks. It’s like wood in the Pacific Northwest, it’s the readily available material.

Studio Pescarella is located in an industrial area so we are surrounded, literally, by stone yards and fabricators. On either side of us and across the street there are yards, and the “back yard” to the studio is a river and on the other side of the river is…wait for it, yes, two more stone yards.

The stone yard next door, the cranes are amazing!
Two of the stone yards across the river, notice all the marble lining the river banks, yes, I did pick some of that up too.
The stone yard on the other side of us, the one closest to us that has the fabrication shop. I will be bringing something home from here.

The difficulty is choosing. So I started with the path of least resistance, I bought a couple of small cut off stones from one of the studio owners here and worked on those. Then we started exploring the dumpster next door which belongs to a large scale fabricating shop with wire saws, CNC machines and all the rest. They are kind enough to indulge visits to the dumpster from the Studio. We have “rescued” good stone there, the biggest was a good size chunk (see below) and had 2 cracks, once split it has broken into three nice carving stones with lovely veining.

“Rescuing” stone from the dumpster with a little help.
A lucky day at the dumpster, Eirene and Tamara and the catch of the day.
The block with 2 cracks before.
…and after
Another stone, before.
During. Yes, that’s me wearing my Freeland Art Studios t-shirt!
…and after, “The Three Graces”

On Friday we started actually shopping to buy stone. It gets delivered on Monday, nothing giant but some nice finds. More on that soon. Thanks for reading and commenting. I’m happy so many of you are enjoying being along on my trip to Italy.

Ciao.

28 thoughts on “So Much Stone

    • Sue, this is so delightful, seeing photos of you and your compatriots having fun creating! Thanks for taking the time to share this adventure!

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    • Yes, you gotta find the good dumpsters! Having people willing to use their heavy equipment to help you lift it out is a big help too!

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  • Looks like an amazing time Sue. It is so fun to see you in your element. Enjoy every moment, and thanks for keeping us updated so we can enjoy too!

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  • When you and all your stone get back to Freeland, I want to come and see it. I don’t know how one would “pace” oneself in buying stone…art materials are irresistible. But I don’t want to rush your return. I hope the time stretches out in front of you.

    >

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    • The shipping of the stone back is complex and is impacting how I’m going about choosing stone. Of course, we’re figuring it out, it’s one of those things that you have to do to understand it all. Thankfully folks with more experience have been generous with their information. It seems like we’ve been here so long because each day is so packed, and yet I can’t believe a third of the month is over already. Thanks for the hope for time stretching, I hope that works!

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  • I am amazed that you were able to carve The Three Graces in such a short period of time. One photo shows what appears to be several trees with intertwined branches. One of yours?

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    • We’re focusing on roughing out the sculptures here, the sanding and polishing always takes longer and that will keep me busy this summer. I have to a lot to do before any of these will be really done. The tree is amazing, that is not mine, it is a work in progress by a local italian sculptor who has space here. He has refined the form significantly in the time we have been here and it is large!

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    • You are too kind Warren, the back still needs a fair amount of work to get the flow right. Something to do when I return home!

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  • Sue; I’m assuming you won’t be bringing any of those gorgeous stone-finds home in your carry on. Getting in through Customs could be a challenge! What a wonderful experience you’re having!! Thanks so much for sharing it! Dyanne

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    • Definitely not carry on! We’ll be putting them in crates and shipping them on a big ship to arrive about 4-6 weeks later in Seattle. We’re learning all about how to ship a ton of stone right now. I”m having such a grand time! Seeing your travel pictures helped motivate me to do this blog so thank you!

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  • Sue, I too have marvelled at what is thrown away, used as junk retaining wall stones, etc. And nice to see dumpster diving is ok your way. A decade ago, I was frowned at for doing same at the old Studio SEM – why?! Great that someone’s garbage has become your art!

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    • Yes, I understand it’s not acceptable everywhere but the neighbors to the studio I’m in have become accustomed to it because of the constant flow of artists (and the good relationships they’ve built by buying stone and using their services). It’s a whole different reality seeing marble I would buy in the US dumped but as re-use, re-cycle type of person it’s a real treat! Wish you were still here!

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  • Hi Sue, Not sure what that elapse time was for The Three Graces but it’s wonderful. Do you have instructors or feed back on your work? Are you finding inspiration from other carvers? Are they all Italian? Are you learning new techniques? It so neat that you have this month of immersion.

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    • I started The Three Graces one of the first days I was here and worked on it for a few days along with some other pieces. I like to have a few sculptures going at one time so my body and brain gets some variety in the work. When I get home it will take significantly longer to clean up the lines, sand and polish it. It’s the time-consuming part and that’s one of the reasons we are working on “roughing out” pieces here and not taking the time to finish them (the other reason is shipping). We are not here as part of a class, we’re renting space so we are surrounded by peers but not instructors. Right now there are sculptors from South Korea, France, Argentina, the States and of course, Italy, working here. I’m getting to see some new methods, styles and tools and I’m trying to soak it all up! Thanks for reading and asking great questions!

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  • Sue, just looking at your photos I get a sense of how exciting it must be for you, surrounded on every side by stone and stone workers! I am just so thrilled for you, that you’re getting this time and this experience.

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    • Thanks Claire! Italy was amazing the first time when the four of us were here and this opportunity is making it even better. Since we’re here in a small town and working it’s like living in Italy rather than being a tourist. Of course, being a small town, the language barrier is a real thing but thankfully at the studio there are lots of english speaking folks to help out. Thanks for sharing the joy with me!

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  • One woman’s dumpster is another’s paradise….beautiful marble. No doubt your roughing out approach is a great way to utilize time and minimize return home shipping costs. Got to watch for those sharp edges though,,,,

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