Sandy Stolle   Expressions in Wood




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Artist Statement

 For me, wood has become the medium of ultimate challenge.  The past three decades of exploration in this “alive” medium has opened up for me the deepest levels of creative expression.  I find refuge amongst the flying chips and wonderful aroma.  My imperfections are forgiven in its warmth; but wood is also a disciplined master.  The instant I become inattentive it hollers out.  Like a Zen Master it snaps me back into the present moment, demanding of me my best.

 My work with wood is a relationship and discourse, between carver and plank.  Attentiveness to the voice of the wood opens for me a channel of expression to canvas my life experiences, feelings and beliefs.  The majorities of my carvings do not start with a preset image before selecting the lumber, but rather evolve from the character and demands of the particular piece of wood.  Although it is the most demanding way to work, it is also the most freeing and my preference.  The carvings become a sculptural recording of a daily dialog between artist and material; an opening to and union with the spirits of both.

 I bring to this work, the experience and skills of years of drawing and working with clay; also, over 30 years of living in Alaska. Twelve of those early years, I lived with the Inupiaq people of Selawik.  The village developed in me a continuing respect of the natural world, as well as an openness to, and directness with, the world of the Spirit.  It was there I began to find my voice as an artist.  I was also nurtured by encouragement and friendship with Oregon Master Carver Roy Setzoil.  He opened my eyes to the vocabulary of wood textures, pushed open the door of possibilities, and reminded me that carving is disciplined work.  For these influences, I am most grateful.

 “Art is anything that’s made,

and an artist is a worker-

like anyone else except he

deals with ideas, beliefs, and

 the realm of the Spirit.”

                                       Roy Setzoil



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