I enjoy writing. It helps me clarify my thoughts. Every sculpture I create is really a story I find irresistible that finds expression in stone.

I usually have a lot of excess brain space when I am sanding and finishing a stone sculpture so I begin to write the blog for that piece in my mind. Having done quite a bit of research for each sculpture, I start by riffing on ideas.

I define the most important aspect of the creation process. Sometimes it is the story of the animal. Sometimes it is an experience I had with a particular individual. Often it is the story of the making of the sculpture. Every picture is worth at least a thousand words.

Lastest Entry

Raspberry Tabby

“Raspberry Tabby” is a stone sculpture homage to my little kitten, Chai, and to all tabbies, be they orange, gray, brown, or calico.  Though comparatively small in size, they are big tigers at heart.


I had a great time carving the first homage to my kitten, a sculpture titled “Drape”.  When I make a sculpture I dwell in the presence of my subject, and I so enjoy Chai’s company.  The small boulder of raspberry red alabaster was perfect for my delightful purpose.

Raspberry Tabby, side view, sculpture by Ellen Woodbury.
Raspberry Tabby, side view.

Raspberry Red Alabaster

My kitten is cute, (and I do happen to have some pictures).  I acquired this small chunk of raspberry red alabaster from a fellow sculptor’s stash when he liquidated his stone inventory.  The raw boulder was adorable, and yes, stone can be cute.  Cute kitten, cute stone, colorful tiger stripes, the sculpture just had to be made.

Raspberry Red Alabaster
An adorable small boulder of raspberry red alabaster.
Chai-kitty beguiling portrait.
A beguiling close-up of Chai.

The Meatloaf Position

Cartoonist B. Kliban defined a cat as a small furry creature resembling a meatloaf.  One of his famous cartoons showed two horizontal lumps, figure 1 is a plain lump and figure 2 is a lump with tiny, pointed ears and a big tail.  I have owned cats since I was seven years old, and the meatloaf concept is part of my foundation for understanding cats.

Chai's modified meatloaf position.
Chai, in her modified meatloaf position, incorporates a subtle drape.

All cats assume the meatloaf position as a daily activity.  I do not know if wild tigers do this, it may be a domestic custom.

Cat Culture

Our 11-year-old cat, Kittywinks, promoted herself to top cat when we adopted Chai the Kitten.  Winkies enjoys having a minion but does not wish to play all the time, mostly she wishes to nap. 

Chai invents activities that can be enjoyed without the participation of Kittywinks and has a daily (and nightly) to-do list.  These include Bug Patrol (indoor cats love this), monitoring all dark places, rearranging the furniture through leaping and bounding, and tracking down the bouncey balls with some play left in them.

A new, and perhaps more quiet activity, is cat calligraphy.  Here Chai demonstrates the letter “P”.  She is working on other letters, and I am interested to see what her first word will be.

Cat calligraphy demonstration
Chai’s cat calligraphy demonstration of the letter “P”.

Her Specialty

I leave you with Chai’s favorite gesture, the drape.  As she grows up, I believe she will continue to refine this classic expression of cathood.

The camouflaged drape.
Chai continues to refine and define the classic drape. Here is the camouflaged drape.

Excerpts of Other Recent Entries

“C-9 of North America” is a stone sculpture homage to Coccinella Novemnotata, the Nine-Spotted Ladybug, known to biologists as C-9.  This particular species of ladybug has a voracious appetite for aphids and is a strong ally with farmers and gardeners against plant-eating insects. Inspiration I love gardens and have built many in my teeny yard.  My husband, Brian, has an awesome tomato garden every summer.  We garden organically and use no pesticides.  I learned from my Dad when I was . . .

“Quiet” is an avian stone sculpture tribute to finding the quiet place within yourself.  This has been a busy year for me, and I am glad I found a mental place to relax and refresh. Inspiration My good friend Helen gave me a book for my birthday titled Humankind, by Rutger Bregman, a contemporary Dutch sociologist.  Bregman proposes that people are fundamentally kind and want to help each other.  He presents documented evidence that refutes social philosophers who convinced us . . .

“Empathy for the Ocean” is a stone sculpture cartoon fish inspired by my concern for all of us on the earth.  It is a wish that we can find a way to work together to save our world.  It is the result of cascading collisions of ideas about warming oceans, science, DNA, anthropomorphism, animation, and empathy. Getting to Know the Ocean My sister moved from the Rocky Mountains to Long Island Sound several years ago because she wanted to be . . .

“Drape” is a stone sculpture kitten that epitomizes security and relaxation.  Inspiration My husband, Brian, and I adopted a new kitten who is an absolute delight.  I found her draped on a shelf one afternoon in an iconic cat pose and realized the humor and irony of her young age and (logical) propensity for classic cat behavior.   Kitten Gestures Most all species of felines are quite similar.  An adult house cat and an enormous tiger have similar gestures and . . .

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