Monthly Archives: July 2015

Spirit Journey Carving–what is it?

I am excited to be embarking on my first teaching experience this summer with a new beginning sculpting workshop entitled ‘Spirit Journey Carving’.  What is Spirit Journey Carving? And why learn sculpture? Why carve stone?


‘ananchel’, onyx, 18’h

There are so many great benefits to sculpting, and just as many approaches as to how to do it. Regardless of whether you consider yourself an artist, thinking sculpturally can truly expand the mind! Thinking sculpturally and the action of sculpting can increase personal power to bring ideas and visions into form, which applies to all parts of our lives. To generate a form in a three dimensional material is a great exercise in seeing, being and generating action to achieve a result. Creating a sculpture always has exciting and sometimes surprising elements in the process of creating form, no matter if it was a based on a preexisting image/idea or spontaneously inspired, whether representative or abstract. The process has become like a wise teacher to me.

I find sculpting, and in particular carving stone, very soothing to my relationship with time and space. Using the body and its energy to shape the raw material of the earth into a sculpted form inspired by personal will is an act of spirit, defined as the force within a person that is believed to give the body life, energy, and power. It is also a relationship, and a journey. It takes just the time it takes, relative to everything, and the sense of time passing can disappear. Constant awareness of the occupation of space, in the creative endeavor, stretches the mind as it must think in shape and form. How can the hands execute the vision? How can the mind release the ideas to achieve a result? –seeing, being and generating action.


Back to there being many approaches and forms for sculpting, of the main two processes, there were originally modelling and carving–additive and subtractive. My focus here is on subtractive sculpting, the carving process, with stone as a medium as it applies to my workshop ‘spirit journey carving’. Say you have a chunk of stone or a block of rock in front of you. Your spirit says ‘I want to make something’ –well, where do you start? If you already have a plan of what you want to make it may be easier to begin, but what if you do not? How does one start?  It begins with seeing, defining your mental image to the extent that you can. Maybe it is a grand vision you get when you squint looking at it, awesome! Or, only a simple shape, -or a hole. In that case, that is where you begin. After seeing, begin being. Commit to the journey, the relationship, be that shape, that hole. Be that vision in your mind and generate action to create it.

The same applies if you have a plan, or a vision (and maybe it is grand…an owl!). How do you start? Where do you begin to shape that owl? Spirit will inform you! (in the pictures in this blog, I did see an angel, although I didn’t see what she would look like at first) and once you commit, you have a place to begin. Will it look like an owl? Probably not for what seems a long time, haha! But hold the vision, see it in your mind. Put in the time, even if it is rough, and keep working on the details. Choose a detail. It may be boring. It may surprise you and do something unexpected. It may change how it looks. The process may change how you see. The process may mirror a relationship, a job or a life commitment.. the result may change, the vision could change. It takes the time it takes, and becomes what it becomes! It may be heavy or work out some new muscles you didn’t know you had, but it will never move away (unless you sell it, then, yay!), or fire you, or slip away if you have other things to do for a bit. You can come back to it time again, the timeless learning is just where you left it, and ready to meet you where you are. And it is entirely possible to have a masterpiece to enjoy that will live on! Spirit Journey Carving–seeing, being, and generating action to create a fine piece of work!

Ready to begin the journey? You never know where it may take you! Here is a link to my four-day workshop happening on two weekends this August at Pratt Fine Arts Center in Seattle!