Torso With Gloves

Thulite is a hard, strong, exceptionally beautiful semiprecious stone.  I found this one in the Okanogan Valley of far northern Washington, in the interior dry country where cattle and rattlesnakes coexist and woodrats scurry among the rocks.

Surprising strength encouraged pushing the form toward what would have been disastrous in anything I had carved before. The more daring the design at any moment, the more this strength amazed me, and so I continued for that reason alone.  

Strength drew me in, and hardness made mistakes happen slowly, allowing me to learn.

But the beauty of the stone was irresistible.  

The eerie, light green glowing layers of translucency, the masses of dark green opaqueness.   And the pinks, all bordering each other in intriguing patterns.  

Beauty captured me, kept me entranced, and kept me resonating with the form that was developing.

And so I continued. 

Over a period of many years, I have worked on Torso with Gloves in Canada, the United States, Costa Rica, Germany, and Singapore.  It travels well.

Perhaps one day I will declare it finished.

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Other examples of a tendency to flirt with danger on expeditions after beauty are Arabesque and Night Bird.  Is it a death wish?

Photos by Lee Gass.