The largest piece of stone art that Dick ever created started with a 5,000 pound block of
Jonesboro red granite… and took a good six or eight months longer than he expected it would
to finish. This time, he is aiming to complete an assemblage of smaller components over the
course of ten days at the Hallowell Symposium.
“I plan to create a sense of a flower garden,” he explains, with one large central stone about
three by four feet by nine inches thick. Emerging from this stone will be a cluster of stone
“flowers” – smooth, round stones on tall, flexible metal rods. The “garden” will be an
interactive, touchable, dynamic sculpture assemblage. “I might add some benches around it,
and maybe even a pool, some type of water feature,” he muses.
Dick, now retired from a career in banking, says a woodworking course he took in his mid-40’s
whetted his appetite for stonework. “I’ve always loved the rocky coast of Maine,” he notes, and
he soon got hooked when he met kindred spirits representing the Maine Stoneworkers Guild
(MSG) at the Common Ground Country Fair.
“Our MSG colleague, Obadiah Buell, came up with the idea of setting up a table or two there
where anyone interested can try their hand at it, using soft stone like alabaster or soapstone
and safe, beginner-friendly tools. We’ll be offering the same opportunity, and lots of
encouragement and pointers, to folks attending the Hallowell Symposium,” he continues.
After all, while creating their art, “we stone workers tend to be very solitary, making lots of dust
and noise,” he says. But when it happens, the camaraderie, and the sharing of tools, tips and
techniques, is the best part. Dick, who like Dan counts himself among the many who learned so
much from others, points out that one reason to stage the symposium is to attract newcomers
to the medium.
“To be working with one’s tribe, in public, is a blast.”