A Tribute To Giovanni Bedini—Master Stone Carver

Giovanni Bedini was my mentor and teacher. He was a stone carver of the old school and disliked the pneumatic and electrical tools that most Sculptors use today. He was described as " one of the last " Romantics of the Chisel " by the local Carrara newspaper when he died in 2002 in his eighties.  He carved mainly decorative pieces including flowers, birds and figures or beautiful faces. He was famous for his Roses delicately carved in white marble. They were once described by Sofia Loren as "Enchanting, a mass of Dreams".

He was a real gentleman, warm and friendly with a quiet and gentle demeanor. He was passionate about his work and well known and respected in Carrara. As a teacher he patiently demonstrated the use of the tools. He then got me started on my own pieces, always ready to offer help when needed. I soon became good friends with him, his wife Media and their two sons Michele and Marco. Michele is an art teacher and accomplished painter and sculptor while Marco is a talented Architect.

First Meeting

I first met Giovanni in 1990 at the Annual Marble Fair in Marina Carrara. There he stood out as the only one actually carving with hammer and chisel in hand amongst the machines and Stone Blocks at this large industrial fair. When I expressed an interest in his work he replied politely to my questions and invited me to visit him in his studio.

When I did so a few weeks later he welcomed me warmly and showed me his work. I was fascinated by what he was doing and asked him if I could  try to sculpt in stone under his direction. Despite my small wrists and lack of any experience he took me seriously and reacted very positively asking when I would like to start.

The Studio

When I first entered Giovanni's studio it was full of interesting plasters and stone sculptures and fireplaces some still being worked, to me it seemed a magical place where beauty was being created every day and I loved working there.

Although in Marina Carrara not far from the Port and close to the Genova Pisa Autostrada the setting is rural with his studio in the orchard behind the house shaded by Olive and fruit trees. Beyond the garden is a large  field in which sheep  graze when they were brought down from the mountains.