A Case Study—Changing Existing Work

Resculpting A Stone Doorway

I was asked if I could remove two dog faces holding up garlands of flowers carved in the limestone frieze around the front door of a house in La Jolla. I created a design which would match the rest of the carving but keeping the relief at the same height. I achieved this by making a clay model of the existing area of each dog's head and then carving it away into a new design consisting of flowers, leaves and ribbons retaining as much as possible of the old and blending in to the rest of the existing relief decoration.

Transforming The Image

The photographs tell the story: I examined and measured the existing image, then created a clay model of the existing image and carved it into the new design, I then carved the stone to the modified image.


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.


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.