From our auspicious beginning seventeen years ago in 2001, three days after 9/11, with White House carver Patrick Plunkett as our first guest instructor, Sax Stonecarving Workshops have evolved into an institution widely recognized for the level of instruction and the quality of our teachers. We have welcomed such accomplished instructors as Alexandra Morosco, Frank Haufe, Fred Brownstein, Gary Haven Smith, Joseph Kincannon, Karin Sprague, Kazutaka Uchida, Kelly Jamison, Matt Auvinen, Nicholas Fairplay and Patrick Plunkett. Among them are American, English, German, and Japanese instructors, each of whom has left his or her own mark, and whose knowledge, skills and aesthetic have become part of the cumulative workshop experience.
Our workshops are small compared to most stone sculpture symposia. We limit the number of students to no more than eighteen per session so that our student:staff ratio is always 5 to 1 or better. Throughout the day, staff instructors circulate to help participants solve problems, make suggestions, or point out a book in our in extensive library that might be relevant.
Every student gets his or her own banker (carving table), a shaded tent area, electricity, and air. A generous piece of limestone is provided as part of the tuition, but there is also a large variety of other stones available for sale. Everyone is encouraged to have a basic set of carving tools. The workshop has a fantastic selection of carving tools from England, France, Germany, Italy and the US for sale. For beginners, it is a good idea to wait to buy tools until you have some guidance from a professional. It is easy to waste money on inappropriate tools. In the class, you will have time to try before you buy.
A typical day starts with coffee or tea and some sweets, followed by a small meeting in which we outline the day’s events and address any questions students may have. The rest of the day consists of demonstrations, carving time, a hearty lunch followed by more carving with an optional film or power point presentation. In 2018 we are planning an encore field trip to view and contemplate the nine Cataldi marble sculptures on a nearby private estate. These statues by Italian sculptor, Cataldi, whose many accomplishments include first prize in a sculpture competition judged by Auguste Rodin, represent some of the most sophisticated Neo-Classical carvings west of the Mississippi.
Every year we learn something new and a better way of doing things. Our staff have taken feedback, evaluated it, and implemented the best suggestions. The classes are participatory, meaning that everyone has the chance to shape not only his or her experience but also the experiences of those who follow. We are of the philosophy that there is more than one way to do things, but we do believe there is a right way to learn. Sometimes the roundabout approach is better than the straight away. After all, the most lasting lessons are those that are learned by making mistakes, by experimenting, and by pushing the envelope.
Our students have ranged in age from 14 to 83, and dedicated returning students account for over 50% of our attendance. Some students have attended classes from the very beginning, and many students have taken five or more classes with us.
We want our students to make what they came to make and what they want to see, be it a bird, a portrait, a carved word, an angel, an abstract shape, a bowl, or the ripples on an ocean shore.
SUMMER SESSIONS 2019
Welcome to the 19th Annual Sax Stonecarving Workshops!
This summer we will offer TWO courses:
SESSION 1: A seven-day intensive with guest instructor, Joseph Kincannon.
This class is open to all levels including beginners.
SESSION 2: A seven-day course with guest instructor, Nick Fairplay.
All participants enjoy one-on-one instruction in a supportive atmosphere and an unequalled opportunity to study with the best instructors in the field. Class size is limited, so please register early to secure your place in a class.
Continue reading below for details about each session.
TUITION for each session is $875.
Each summer session includes homemade lunch each day and approximately 150 pounds of limestone or equivalent. Travel and accommodation expenses are not included.
Check out local places to stay, HERE.
Get to know our STAFF INSTRUCTORS.
Click here to read Mark's article about stonecarving in the July 2014 issue of Slippery Rock Gazette.
SUMMER SESSION ONE 2019
JUNE 22-28, 2019
with Joseph Kincannon
Guild certified master carver Joseph Kincannon returns for his ninth year to teach traditional European carving techniques that have been passed down from master to apprentice for centuries. Kincannon, an incredibly talented, humorous, and patient teacher, is a master in using traditional carving techniques to develop new and exciting images in stone. His emphasis will be on developing a sculpture from a drawing or maquette using hand and pneumatic tools. Participants who would like to explore the world of architectural carving will find in this class a unique opportunity to work with one of the country’s leading carvers. All aspects of stone carving will be covered: stone selection, planning, roughing out, texturing, polishing, and mounting, as well as tool use and care.
Joseph Kincannon was the former lead carver and project manager of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City, working on the central portal and south tower for eleven years. He holds a certificate from the Stone Masonry Guild and a certificate from the Stone Carving Guild. His numerous public and private projects include work on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in New York, the Chicago Botanical Garden, and Vizcaya Castle in Coral Gables, Florida. He and his wife, Holly, have owned Kincannon Studios in Austin, TX since 1992.
We are honored to welcome Kazutaka Uchida from Tokyo, Japan as our guest artist for the fourteenth time. Mr. Uchida has been a sculptor for over forty years, and has recently retired as a college professor in Nagoya, Japan. His work is in numerous museum collections worldwide, and he brings his unique Japanese aesthetic to our participants through demonstrations and a slide presentation.
SUMMER SESSION TWO 2019
AUGUST 10-16, 2019
with Nick Fairplay
Master stonecarver Nick Fairplay apprenticed at the age of 16 at Chichester Cathedral. He graduated from the City and Guilds of London Art College and then traveled on scholarship to Rome to study art and architecture. He was the lead stone carver at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine where he taught a cadre of young people to carve. Nick is known for his teaching talents, mastery of technique, and voluminous knowledge of the history of stone carving and sculpture.
For more information, please contact Mark Saxe at (505) 579-9179 or email.
© 2019 Southwest Stoneworks, LLC.