Montoya Stone Carving

Montoya Sculpture & Supply has been serving stone carvers and sculptors since 1973. We stock Italian and domestic hand and power tools for stone carving along with tons and tons of soapstone, alabaster, wonderstone, marble and limestone. Located in West Palm Beach, Florida. Please visit my website for tools and supplies. MontoyaSculpture.com

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

TOOLS- SOMETHING IMBUED?
(from Issue #16 on Montoya's eNewsletter- ROCK TALK)

This is about an odd experience I am not sure I can quite convey to you properly, but I wanted to share it. An elderly sculptor recently passed away and I was asked if I could sell her sculpture tools to raise a little money for her family. Some of the chisels were quite old and looked interesting to me. I picked out the older and worn ones and put them together on one of her dusty canvas pouches. My first thoughts were to wonder if perhaps she had children or grandchildren who would of been interested in them. These tools were a part of her life.

As I looked at the mushroomed tops of the chisels I wondered what stories they held. How many blows had they taken in the creation of her sculpture? How had she maneuvered the tools to remove stone here and there? As I looked down, I felt that somehow all these experiences were stored in the hammer and chisels on that canvas pouch. I know it’s somewhat mystical or spiritual, but I asked myself, don’t those tools have some kind of power stored in them because of their being used. If you have been reading the newsletter for some time you probably remember reading that Vince Ricci, who had worked with Malvina Hoffman (who studied with Rodin), had a chisel that Malvina had given him. It even had her “MH” stamped on the shaft. That tool meant something to Vince. It meant something to me to hold it. It seemed to hold some “power”, something special to the right people.

After you work with the stone, holding the tools this way and that, blow after blow after blow, doesn’t that tool somehow get something imbued? And sometimes, doesn’t it just seem that the tool becomes part of us, part of our hand, an extension of our arm. It flows with our mind. It curves and cuts just as we thought, somehow knowing where to go just as we thought it. All those hours in her hands in the creation of sculpture, of her vision for the stone. I believed, something was there, it had to be, and all those blows had to have forced something, some power, some creativity perhaps, into those tools. You can see some of it in the mushroomed top of the chisels, in the marks on the hammer.

As I stood there, waning sentimental, I wondered, how long had she sculpted, how many works had she done, who, if anyone, had taught her. What was her work that she most cherished. Perhaps one of those tools was given to her by her teacher, and that tool came to her with some “power” already forced into it. Perhaps… as she lay on her bed in her final days she thought of all the stone sculptures she still wanted to create, but never would. Maybe somehow, through some mystical power her tools were stored up with those creative thoughts. As we carve don’t we get flashes of further ideas, sometimes a flood of ideas, for our next sculpture? Hadn’t she been holding some of these tools as thoughts of her next sculptural creation was revealed to her? Maybe, just maybe they lay there on the canvas, calm, dusty and still, but packed with experience, ready to expend its power of experience through the hands of the right person, another stone sculptor.