Dan already has a clear picture in his mind of the work he plans to create at the Symposium. “I’ve picked out some old curbing stone and a couple of granite slabs, and I’ll use them to create a sculptural representation of the sunrise over the Kennebec.”
Because Hallowell granite is monochromatic, known for its consistently uniform, light appearance, Dan says that texture is going to take on added importance in his finished work. “With darker types of stone, you often get color contrast once you break below the surface,” he explains. Here he will employ polished, hammered or chipped textural effects to add interest.
Dan has lined up Joseph DiMauro, an emerging stone artist, as his assistant/apprentice at the Symposium. Years ago, Dan himself got into stoneworking when he found himself being asked to create bird baths and the like for his day job in landscaping. Like many of his colleagues, Dan is happy to pass on his skills, attributing his own knowledge and passion for stone art to the time that he was grateful to spend with the late Don Meserve, a beloved and respected mentor to many Maine stone workers.
Creating a finished piece in a defined time frame is definitely a challenge. Simply determining when a piece is “finished” can also be difficult.
“Have I expressed what I intended? Have I taken it far enough?”
are considerations that cross his mind. And ultimately,
“Have I brought that to the forefront, so that others can see it?”
In his work plan, Dan builds in time to field questions and provide technical information at the Symposium, enjoying the opportunity to engage with the public and perhaps inspire newcomers to the field. “Come out and see us, have fun! We’ll have a hands-on table set up where you can try working with small pieces of soft stone, and create a special souvenir to take home from the Symposium.”