Joel B. Garzoli Fine Art
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Art Notes ~ Easton

Easton's Studio



The Process:

"Marble is a beautiful and durable material that has been used in construction and art for millennia. When one begins to carve a piece of marble it feels quite durable and resistant, but it is vulnerable to acid rain and severe weathering, so I consider my pieces, with their fine finishes, to be indoor pieces.

"I enjoy working with a wide range of tools, each of which has its own characteristics and leaves its own traces. I use hand mallets, points, chisels, toothed-chisels, and pitching tools. A large dry diamond blade on an electric motor is my tool of choice for cutting and faster removing of material. Small diamond blades on small electric grinders have their place, and large and small electric grinders are work horses. I also use pneumatic chisels and die grinders, the latter perhaps excessively. When I have completely formed the piece, I hand wet-sand it 6 or 7 times, using hand grinding stones, diamond abrasive pads, and wet-dry sand paper of increasingly finer grits, then polish and wax it. Generally I use the dry diamond blade to do a lot of rough cutting at the beginning (and throughout the forming of the piece). Recently I was waiting for some visitors and I didn't want to fire up all the equipment I normally use, so I did a bit of hand carving on a new, wonderful block of stone. I had a concept of a form that I wanted to work with on that block, but after I had carved for a while, I realized that I was going in a different direction, dictated by the nature of the hand tools I was using

"A metaphor I like to use when someone asks about carving marble and the patience it must take to do so is to ask them to think of some daily journey they might make, like to the local store, versus a longer journey, say to a town 500 miles away. If the journey to the store takes 20 minutes, and if it is your only destination, you probably have a certain mental attitude about the time it will take to get there and your preparedness for the “journey.” If, on the other hand, you were to follow that exact same route as the start of the journey to the town 500 miles away, the time and effort would not be an issue (unless traffic was unusually heavy and you were in a big rush). Similarly, carving marble takes a lot of patience and effort, but if you don’t try to rush things, if you accept the road ahead and find a fitting pace, it just becomes a journey to be experienced.”

"I carve abstract (non-representational) sculptures, starting with single blocks of stone. I start with a piece of material that interests me for its color, shape, and intrinsic features. Before I begin working I usually study the block to form a general conception of a gesture or form, and then I begin working. I rarely model an idea in any material. I try to enter into a dialogue with the stone, removing material here, shaping it there, until I have a sense of presence, an ‘entity,’ evolving from it. For years this has been my modus operandi, but more recently I have had some more specific ideas/forms/ images that I wish to develop. To me, this ‘entity’ may be inanimate, like a book, which would lead to a mostly formal, perhaps decorative, statement, or it may be like a being dwelling in some universe of the subconscious, with a life and history embodied in it. The sculpture ceases to be a block of stone and exhibits a personality, just as a book is more than paper and covers, and when we become even more familiar with it, it ceases to be ‘a book’ and becomes Moby Dick.

"Each sculpture is something I have created, carved out of whole cloth, from stone or wood almost exclusively.New things, even when I repeat a prior idea.Non-representational sculptures, organic, abstract, a little anthropomorphic in the best instances.I have not deliberately copied any known work, but exposure to the world’s art might seep into my work unknown.But my creative process does not involve the reproduction of known things, but the percolation of sub- and unconscious forms.

"Functionally, I find it easier to work in an environment without external distractions.Nighttime is the best time because there are not sunshine and people and things happening to beckon.A good time to focus, though the daylight is better for the visual aspects of the work.

"When I sculpt, there are moments when I become immersed in my work, somewhat numb to my surroundings.This is a kind of stereotype of the artist at work, but it also real.My reality is that while I work (sculpt) I let my mind go where it wants, listening to the radio (through sound-deadening earplugs), watching sunlight or the wind, planning domestic things, or thinking about my life, politics, sex, or even marketing and selling my art.BUT, all this is like singing a song while polishing a car—it may affect the rhythm, but it does not affect the work."