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Nice View From My Tail

Nice View From My Tail, sculpture by Ellen Woodbury

A Celebration of Challenges

“Nice View From My Tail” is a celebration of challenges met, decisions made, and obstacles overcome and avoided. As the saying goes, we live in interesting times, and I hope this post finds you pleased with your pro-active accomplishments.

I have never taken life more into my own hands than when I became an independent artist, and the experience continues to be a thrilling one!


This stone sculpture is carved from a beautiful block of white Vermont Marble with gold and olive vein. The crystal in this stone is enormous and gorgeous.  It rivals our own Colorado Yule Marble with its famous snowflake crystal.

Unlike Yule, Vermont Marble is very hard. Diamonds were a necessity in filing and sanding this piece. The hard stone holds a beautiful, crisp edge and only required sanding to 120 grit.  With this finish the feel is smoothe and soft and the huge crystal sparkles like snow.

Significant Block

The block for “Nice View From My Tail” holds special significance for me as it was given to me by my new sister-in-law, Audrey.

Her grandfather, Mr. Orzech, was a Polish immigrant who worked in the Gawet Quarry in West Rutland, Vermont. He passed away in the early ’50’s, I believe, and his widow remarried into the Gawet family.

Audrey and her family traveled to Vermont to visit relatives and also visited the Gawet Quarry. There she found several beautiful blocks of white marble which she used for many years to hold her stereo system.

Recently, Audrey and her husband moved to a new home and no longer needed the marble blocks to hold the stereo.  Knowing I carved stone, she gave them to me as a gift.

The Stone Inspires the Sculpture

I have been interested to carve Vermont Marble for several years and was most happy to receive the stones.

Sometimes I look for a particular stone to make into a particular sculpture, other times the stone inspires a particular sculpture. The latter was the case with this block of Vermont white.

I had been thinking about making a squirrel for several months prior to receiving this block–no specific idea for a pose or theme–but thought to make it from a piece of yellow marble in my garage. I had a strong feeling the squirrel would come from the stereo column the moment I saw it, the subject sitting elevated on his tail.

Memories Inspire the Subject

The inspiration for this sculpture comes from a series of happy memories.

A creative and resourceful squirrel entertained me on many mornings last winter.  He hung by his toes down a long wire which, I thought, suspended my birdfeeder safely out of squirrel range. His technique was so innovative and outlandish that I did not attempt to readjust the feeder, figuring he deserved a reward for his creativity.

This reminded me of my Dad’s experiences with squirrels raiding his birdfeeders, and books we bought for him detailing ways to discourage this behavior. My Dad was a Vermonter, so somehow these ideas connected to produce this self-satisfied stone squirrel.

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Nice View From My Tail

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