| May 03, 2007


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Feature Article - May 3, 2007

Stonecarvers of NAEC

by Katie Ohlke

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For the past month, two senior sculpture students have been learning the art of carving soapstone and are becoming very skilled in their technique. Kyle Sagriff, 19, and Devin Vanderbelt, 18, have discovered a passion for carving stone. "It takes up a lot of time and keeps me out of trouble." jokes Sagriff, who has completed seven large pieces and several small pieces in the last month. "A carving usually takes me 12 hours or so, start to finish." Sagriff uses a Dremel tool and lots of files to work the stone. Vanderbelt enjoys the challenges carving soapstone can deliver. "The chiseling is hard to do, you have to read the stone's flaws and these weak points don't like the force needed sometimes. Adding detail to the stone is the biggest challenge if you want to keep the stone in one piece." he notes, "When you try to read the rough stone it can be hard to see what it should be because you have a thousand things running through your mind as possibilities." Vanderbelt often spends up to 20 hours per sculpture, and has completed eight to date, using a pocket knife, files and even an angle grinder. Their favourite stones to carve come from Mitch Wilson, who has a local quarry in Enterprise. Vanderbelt likes the dark black stone called Northern Lights Stone and Sagriff enjoys working with the dark brown stone that has streaks of white and black within it. Both agree on the best part of the art; "The best part is when you have a finished piece." says Vanderbelt.Both intend to continue carving after graduation, and Sagriff intends on making a career out of it. "I am hoping to become rich and famous - well, maybe just famous." grins Sagriff, "I'd like to carve for the rest of my life." The young men make their artistic debut at the NAEC Art Show tonight, Thursday May 3 at the annual parents’ night. Look for these bright young and talented artists in the near future!

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