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Hal Aaslestad

Stone sculpture is a wonderful medium to express both the grand and the more minor elements of the human figure. Both plastic and rigid, giving and unforgiving, cool and distant as well as warm and intimate ... all of these qualities may be found in stone sculptures. I enjoy the physical nature of the act of carving stone. I first sketch or model the concept ... which may or may not be achieved ... and then put it away for some time. I like to work ahead of myself and usually have the next two pieces fairly established in design while still finishing up the prior piece. Roughing out a direct stone carving often reveals the limitations to the early design through the nature of the stone or the discovery of a different and superior image to develop. Shaping and detailing the design are a delight and yet I find a tedious part of the work is often in finishing since my mind has moved off to the next piece.

I began to work in stone about four years ago following retirement from a career in science. I was trained as a virologist and was engaged in academic research and teaching most of my career. Later years in my profession were mostly administrative and during that time I received some training in metal sculpture. I continue to enjoy this medium and also spend time in drawing the human figure.

Ken Smith of Staunton, VA first exposed me to stone carving. I have also received training from the Carving Studio and Sculpture Center in West Rutland, VT and the Beverley Street Studio School of Staunton. My work is largely representational of the human figure and has been shown at the Staunton Augusta Art Center, the University of Virginia and the CoArt Gallery of Staunton.

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aaslestad@verizon.net

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