Amapola Gallery Member Kristin Parrott Loves Sculpture
I had a sort of vision once, a flash onto my inner eye. A red stone bear, carved by me, with a hawk’s feather as her power bundle. (Tied onto her back with a triple length of genuine synthetic faux sinew, for those of you unfamiliar with the protocol.) Just a flash, but a year later I signed up for a stone carving class given by a Lakota acquaintance of mine. A first for both of us.
Here is what the class consisted of: A prayer, in Sioux, over us, the stone and the sacred process, with a ceremonial smoke of sweet grass to cleanse us. Pick the piece of alabaster that speaks to you–here are tools–ask me questions as you need to–Carve!
Odd, isn’t it? From a family of artists, I have been “arting” professionally since 1973. Painting, mosaic, found-object assemblage, jewelry fabrication, ceramics. But until then I had never carved. It was as if the Universe said “Go!”
I have been “going” now for over fifteen years, in alabaster and pipestone but overwhelming in the softer soapstone, since I don’t and won’t use power tools. A Navajo carver once called me a romantic. If I had more family to support than a single rescued dachshund I dare say I’d head for a Dremel, at least. Instead I use files, rasps, chisels, knives and oddments, many from flea markets.
My subjects are what I see and feel in the stone, which of course is heavily influenced by my interests: Hands,bears, elephants, birds, frogs, bison. And the odd Madonna, dog and cat thrown in.
Some of these figures step easily from their stone, but some resist the process. One white alabaster elephant kept me company for well over a year before she agreed to be finished. My largest piece, a bear, weighs 21 pounds. Most are much smaller. Some are tiny, in the 1/2 inch range.
Once each piece is otherwise finished, I seal it with a beeswax compound and hand buff it.
I’ll have a nice selection of pieces at the 27th annual Old Church Fine Crafts Show in Corrales December 4-6, but every day you can see not only my carvings but also a display of my mixed media paintings and crystal-stuffed acorns at Amapola Gallery in Old Town. I am an original member of the co-op, loitering around the premises since 1980. Come by and see us!
(After a lifetime batting words around like shuttlecocks in an endless game of badminton, it is a pleasure to use them to promote Old Town and my fellow artists at Amapola Gallery. –Kristin Parrott, carver, painter, acorn stuffer)