Canadian Artist, soapstone, Soapstone sculpture, Uncategorized

Nothing wrong with tradition – black soapstone grizzly

There is everything wonderful about traditional or classic art.

In the case of my art, this black  Canadian soapstone grizzly.  The stone used for this grizzly is from Northern Quebec, the carver (me, is from Southern Ontario) .

The inspiration is simple; well fed grizzly in nature.  This guy is on the move and not ready for hibernation yet but, you can tell he must have had a successfully hunting season.  He doesn’t look particularly aggressive , I would say more majestic.  With the big head and limbs he is begging to be touched by onlookers and at least this bear won’t bite.

I would have to say that there is a depth to this black stone even though you can’t see it in photos.  There are some places in the rock that are darker than others, little natural lines in the stones that are not cracks..  The challenge with black soapstone as opposed to Brazilian, Asian or Indiana pipestone if there is one,  black stone is very hard.  Think granite.  Not very forgiving and requires very sharp tools.  From a technical  finishing point of view, he’s shiny because he has the protection of yes… wait for it… Clear Kote.  The protection every stone bear needs from dings and things that might happen when he is shown out in public.

As with any art or boy scout – be prepared.  It’s worth the effort to carve just the right bear with just the right attitude and it will speak to just the right client.

Sometimes it might be hard to give up a favourite piece but, when if this does happens, I go ahead and put the bear in inventory and price it , still consider it mine until sold (not usually at an outside gallery but on show in my home gallery)  This works for everyone I think.

Please visit the shop to see more of my finished work, and thank you for coming by.


bears, soapstone

Bears , bears, bears

Exhausted Polar Bear Asian Soapstone

Submissive Bear

There is something about bears that attracts me to make them the focus of my art.

Mama bears, well fed bears or totally exhausted bears.  Just like people, bears have personalities that I try to capture those personalities in my art. Soapstone is an excellent medium for me to make bears.  This stone is alot more forgiving than wood and has much more personality than a limestone for example. Within the soapstone world, Brazilian soapstone has been my first choice of material .  A large part of this began with my mentor; Ben Henry who carves from Brazilian soapstone. Start with what you know. I do branch out into the different soapstone choices.  The range of colours  and hardness is endless . Each country has a different geological make up and therefore different colours appear in the stone. Brazilian soapstone generally has a  range of greens and browns, Canadian runs generally from greens to blacks and Asian the range includes; white to pinks and, there are many more.  Aquamarine, bright red – and we could go on.  The three bears pictured here two are Brazilian and  one is Asian soapstone.  Even with the same ‘mother’ rock, cutting off a piece of the same stone will generally have 2 bears that look very different from each other  .  No two people are exactly the same and no two bears will be the same. Differences are what make art so accessible to everyone and make it so enjoyable for me to carve.