Stonecarving is something that has been on the ‘gotta try that’ list for some time. In fact, today was scheduled way back in August when I first heard that classes in soapstone carving was available so close by.
Soapstone Nova Scotia is located in the Annapolis Valley near Greenwood. It is owned and operated by Ingrid and Gerrie, who are originally from Amsterdam. They came to Canada in 2006, beginning on the West Coast and a few years later migrated East to Annapolis Valley where they now live and work.
In addition to stone carving classes they also supply stone for carving in a wide variety of sizes, types and colours.
The introductory workshop I took had five other participants, all new to this medium. There was also another person who was working on an advanced project. The class was held outside, and because it was such a beautiful, sunny day, it was the perfect setting for this perfect day.
The class started with a short history of stone carving and discussion on what can be achieved both at this beginner level and, using their own beautiful carvings as examples, with more experience. Next, we got neat lesson in the hardness of different types of stone by actually taking a hammer and chisel to several different types of soapstones. Some were very hard and some almost like chalk!
With this information we visited the stone shed next to pick out the stone for our project. There was a large variety of stone to choose from, with names like Emerald Green, Black Chlorite, Henna Lime, Yellow Wave Wonder Stone and Chestnut Brown Alabaster and all in various sizes and and hardness. I chose a chunk of Yellow Wave Wonder Stone because of its reddish specks and brown tones… and because it spoke to me ;).
The stone spoke to me again as I pondered what to create with it. It said that there was a small octopus inside. I kid you not! As I carved it and occasionally wiped it with water to remove the dust the colour of this particular piece of Yellow Wave Wonder Stone reminded me so much of an Octopus Macropus it was uncanny!
Sadly, between the hardness of the Yellow Wave Wonder Stone and the detail of my carving I did not finish it it the time allowed. However, I did make a promise to myself that I will either finish it at home or take another workshop to finish it… and even if I do finish my carving at home I am still coming back for another workshop anyway! I promise! 🙂 In fact, I told Ingrid and Gerrie that I’d be coming back just for the food. They really went all out with the lunch and break time snacks that they had for us.
This was a most wonderful day, totally, totally wonderful.