My little mare, Kentucky, is now about 32 years old, and continues to inspire my stone sculpture (“Pretty-Girl“, “Moon Horse” ). “Sassy” is another aspect of her kaleidoscopic personality. Horses are as varied and complex as people, and Kentucky is exceptionally so—smart, generous, enthusiastic, opinionated, grateful, eager to please, and boundlessly determined. She saved herself twice from the LA slaughter yards, a huge accomplishment for a little horse.
I love horses and I love to improvise on the design elements of the horse. It is a sort of competition with myself to create rhythms among the forms that entice and trap the viewer’s eye and keep it moving in loops and figure eights.
Each time I sculpt a stylized horse ups the ante for me. Can I create another interesting design and keep it fresh? The risk lies in repeating myself; the fun lies in successfully avoiding that. It is a game, a conversation, a journey with an unknown destination.
Carving with Light, Shadow, and Sparkle
Carving Sivec (sa-VETCH) marble is sculpting with light and shadow. There are no visual distractions with pure white stone. Curves bend light in a soft gradation from very light to very dark. Edges change light abruptly—one face is light and drops immediately to shadow with the crisp change in angle. It is great fun to compose forms using these two simple ideas.
I finish Sivec to only 120-grit with sand paper. The touch is as smooth as glass, achieved with precise filing and dry sanding with 80-grit sand paper. I wet sand with 120-grit using lots of water and the crystals in the stone burst to life in a dance of light, shadow, and sparkle! It is almost like magic to see the sparkle leap from the stone.
Sivec Marble comes from a quarry in Macedonia, just north of Greece, which has been in operation for thousands of years. This is the stone with which the ancient Greeks built their civilization.
When I cut into Sivec it smells like the seashore—reminiscent of the gazillions of seashells from which it was formed. This is profound to me. My experience carving Sivec echoes the experiences of thousands of sculptors over thousands of years cutting into a sparkling stone formed hundreds of millions of years ago. Not unlike standing under a Redwood, or witnessing the totality of a solar eclipse.