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To the Stone-Cutters by Robinson Jeffers


Stone-cutters fighting time with marble, you fore defeated
Challengers of oblivion
Eat cynical earnings, knowing rock splits, records fall down,
The square-limbed Roman letters
Scale in the thaws, wear in the rain. The poet as well
Builds his monument mockingly;
For man will be blotted out, the blithe earth die, the brave sun
Die blind and blacken to the heart:
Yet stones have stood for a thousand years, and pained thoughts found
The honey of peace in old poems.

Sometime not too long back, Gerard posted that old footage of the French impressionists. The film of Rodin working that chisel lit up a thing that had been dead in me for a very long time. I did what I said, right after I saw it. I built a new carving table, retrieved an unfinished stone piece I abandoned over fifteen years ago, and got back to work. jwm in Strange Daze

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Kevin in PA April 15, 2021, 3:07 PM

    I thought I had left a comment on that previous thread, but must have been lost in the ether.
    I’ll pose the question again, at the risk of violating some artists taboo; If it is appropriate, would JWM post pictures of the progress he makes on this piece of stone?

  • jwm April 15, 2021, 3:47 PM

    First, thank you, Gerard. That made my day.
    Kevin: Thank you also. All I wanted to do was get to work on the rock, but a blog project just seemed to tag along for the ride. My nic links to the blogspot site. I’ll be posting as I work my way through this. My new piece is up there, too. It’s going to take a while. Nice thing about this hobby, Nothing happens fast.

    JWM

  • Casey Klahn April 15, 2021, 4:33 PM

    I saw it! Very gestural and dynamic piece. More! More!

  • Mike Seyle April 15, 2021, 4:44 PM

    Being old, I had to find a way to find that finished piece of art. And so, I did. I absolutely love that piece, and am contemplating a knee to my wife to ask if I can buy it, even if it’s for sale. Love that graceful art, and the questions it arouses.

  • Kevin in PA April 15, 2021, 5:33 PM

    Wow, nice to get a glimpse of a project in the process. I enjoyed how you explain the way of assessing the stone for how you will work it into what it will ultimately become.
    I am curious how you got started with this medium? Are there university programs where one may learn the art of stone sculpture, or was this something you taught yourself?
    I have to say that the medium seems very intimidating, in the sense that every cut is so permanent. As you say, power tools can be a quick way to make a mistake. Once the cut is made there is no going back.

    I am looking forward to watching this project develop. Thanks for sharing.

  • ghostsniper April 16, 2021, 4:43 AM

    That rock looks mesmerizing John. Like you can see into it’s soul. Chip away at it til it reveals itself.

  • Harry April 16, 2021, 9:31 AM

    Jwm, your finished piece – beautiful. Abstract yet human. I hope your inside fire keeps burning.