At Work On "Decorated Mortaio" —1990

The Mortar you see me working on here was my first piece it was carved in Carrara Marble under the sympathetic guidance of Giovanni who taught me how to use hand tools in the traditional way. It was carved to my design based on local fluted style mortars. I added decorated relief carving on the four faces reflecting the main ingredients of the famous "Pesto": Olives for Oil, Pine cones for the Pine Nuts, Basil leaves and naturally Garlic.

Carving Mortaio

This took me several months of hard work with hammer and chisel, carving first the bowl and then the shape from a 14 x 14 x 9 inch block of Marble. I then added the decoration. When the work was complete I knew that I had found my means of artistic expression, I had also convinced both Giovanni and my family and friends that I was no dilettante. In fact I had become someone with dedication and a passion for working in Stone. The Mortaio was sold to a private collector and is on display in a villa in Italy.