Books can not really teach sculpture, the artist must experience it. The carver must strengthen the hands to respond deftly to the mind to fulfill the dreams and wishes of the carver.

One of the first problems you must overcome is vision. Each of your eyes view things two dimensionally. It is not until the brain reinterprets the two images does the mind see the depth of the vision.

 Even though you may fall short of your expected desires. You will be impelled by this ever-flowing desire to try again to surpass yourself. You must not feel discouraged. You must be you own severest critic and return to an idea with renewed faith and determination.

 You may feel that you will be an artist after a short period of study, whereas if you really have the desire to become an artist, you know that you will be learning to the end of your days.

 Carving can be a great benefit to anyone. Training the hands to respond to the mind produces a fulfillment of self, and promotes the way you are viewed by your friends and the general public. It can be a distinct and fulfilling experience. Finally there is that sense of ecstasy when the carving is completed.

 Many of the answers that I have given to people about my carving can only be understood after one has attempted and fulfilled the desire to create a beautiful carving out of a piece of rock.

 " How long does it take to make a sculpture?" I am often asked, " Until it is finished is the answer."

 If you try to create a carving according to a time schedule, either the carving will be worthless or the stone will break. You will find it difficult to force the stone to do something that it can not. You will find yourself limited by the grain of the stone and the laws of physics.

I now give my students my two rules:

1. If somebody says something nice about your carving, say, "Thank You"

2. Do not tell the person what you think is wrong with the carving. You then are spoiling their pleasure of seeing the beauty of your carving. The public only sees the beauty, you only see the faults.

 It has been over fifteen years since
Max Sexsmith started carving with me and John Hoskin started a few years later, they now sell their work through galleries and exhibitions and have web pages up of their work.

I hope that their successes be an inspiration to you.