Summer in the Studio: Alabaster Carving

Over the first weeks of the new year, TBSSS ran three summer workshops: a week-long life study with Wendy Black (and wonderful model Jaqi Pascoe); an open workshop with Monika Scarrabelotti; and a three-day alabaster carving workshop with Carol Crawford and Wendy Black.

The workshops were a huge success – both the open workshop and alabaster carving courses sold out and it was wonderful to see students channelling their new year creative energy into some fabulous pieces!

Carol has written some words about the alabaster carving course (pictured above) below.

Thank you to the fourteen enthusiastic students who attended the three day Summer Alabaster Workshop taught by myself and Wendy Black.

This workshop focussed on ‘interpretive carving’ and learning to ‘read the stone’ to create beautiful organic forms.

Students were instructed on how to use a hammer and chisel, different filing techniques using rasps and files and the finishing process of hand polishing.  Emphasis was placed on slowly allowing the form, that is inherent in the stone, to emerge.  Each student chose a piece of Italian alabaster that was ‘calling’ to them – and then proceeded to create beautiful individual sculptural alabaster forms.

There was an emphasis on not rushing the form, allowing it to emerge slowly.  Many sculptures were completed in the three days, however,  there were some that will continue to emerge over the coming weeks.  “Interpretive” stone carving can be challenging, both physically and mentally, and I would like to thank all of you who rose to the challenge!  A huge thank you to Wendy Black, who very ably assisted me in teaching this course.

Words by Carol Crawford

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