All my vases and sculptures are carved using traditional hammers, chisels, rasps, riflers, and then polished by hand with sandpaper. I do it this way because I want to help keep the traditional methods and skills of stone carving alive. Lately I've been using air tools to keep up with the demand for my work. I still use my hand tools as well, but I am feeling the results of so many years of hand work and need to give my muscles a rest now and then.
My raw materials used to be steatite and chlorite, and came from my favorite quarry in Oregon, about 1/2 to 3/4 of a ton of stone at a time. I made this trip 4 or 5 times a year and picked out each piece of stone while John, the owner, picked up the mounds I made with his loader (see above) and took them to be weighed. Each type of stone is bought by the pound. Italian alabaster and marble are the most expensive. John Pugh passed over a year ago and now I have harder type stones from Van Couver, BC.
When I work I use no inspiration other than the stone itself and the beauty around me. I simply study the texture, colors, grain and shape of the piece I'm working on and try to see what would look most natural as a finished sculpture. Making sculpture into vases has added a fun element to my work and lets the people who own them contribute to the look and feel of their piece.