Lee’s Stories

Lee’s Stories

Never Wish for a Forest Fire

Never Wish for a Forest Fire

Nobody but a fool would wish for a forest fire if he lived in a forest of fuel. Because of a wildfire near here yesterday,  I got to do something other than sit i...

Engagement is visceral

Engagement is visceral

The Council of 3M National Teaching Fellows produces a range of materials to help teachers improve their teaching. Among them is a DVD-production project in which 18 ...

The birth of a sculptor

The birth of a sculptor

The image shows Lee Gass at two stages in his sculpting career; when he was learning to carve Ivory soap and sanding Red Recursion. Photos by David Shackleton and an ...

The Granite Madonna

The Granite Madonna

  One frame of a video of The Granite Madonna by Mark Wunsch. Explorations of the form of a stone. In 2011, Quadra Island videographer Mark Wunsch and I began ...

Made to be touched

Made to be touched

An Experiment in Social Engineering In May and June 2009, painter Matt Petley-Jones and I held a joint exhibition in his gallery in Vancouver.  Since my work occupi...

Eternal Flame

Eternal Flame

Eternal Flame. This is one of a series of stories in the Vancouver Observer, each about or inspired by Experiments, an evening-length dance production expressing the ...

Arabesque

Arabesque

Arabesque. Sculpture and photos by Lee Gass. This story is expanded from one I published in the Vancouver Observer, inspired by Experiments, a dance production expressin...

Work on the ugliest part!

Work on the ugliest part!

Lee Gass doing what he has done for three-quarters of a century: telling a story to a friend, fellow behavioural ecologist and photographer David Shackleton, who too...

The Notion of Creativity

The Notion of Creativity

The Notion of Creativity In my work as a university professor, questions about where ideas come from were central to everything I did in research and teaching. Now a...

Nature’s Little Squeegees

Nature’s Little Squeegees

Nature's Little Squeegees If you’ve spent hours sanding rocks or furniture without gloves, you may have noticed something that fascinates me every time it happens....

The Last of the Caran d’Ache

The Last of the Caran d’Ache

At risk of telling you more about sculpting than you ever wanted to know or giving you  too much information about my personal life, I’ll tell you a story.  It’s...

What is Creativity?

What is Creativity?

  Detail of bronze Eternal Flame with colour scheme inverted.   What is creativity? What makes the difference between creative people and the rest of...

What a waste!

What a waste!

Red travewrtine waste from Red Recursion paving a trail through the woods.  It is buried now by several layers of several kinds of stone. Waste and photo by Lee Gas...

To Visualize a Stone

To Visualize a Stone

The Granite Madonna, in progress. Photo by Lee Gass.    Various aids to visualization help me 'see' forms as they develop, see what I’ve already done and se...

Help!

Help!

The Granite Madonna in progress. I hope you won’t think I’m cheating to ask for help in a story about creativity, but I do need help with something.  I need an ...

Methods of Creation

Methods of Creation

In Love and Soaring, lighted by laser. Photo by Lee Gass.   Methods of Creation? In responding to my story about making sculpture, Thoughts on the Creative Pro...

Heavy Rocks

Heavy Rocks

Heavy Rocks Everyone knows rocks are heavy, dense, and hard and the bigger the rock the heavier it is. Stone sculptors change their shapes and make them smaller. ...

The Case of Michael Ondaatje

The Case of Michael Ondaatje

Creativity: The Case of Michael Ondaatje   I've wondered where ideas come from all my life, especially with respect to creativity.  The rich litera- ture o...

Looking Up

Looking Up

Looking Up Photos by Lee Gass    This piece of granite leaned against my studio wall for a couple of years, up high where I could see it in all weather and al...

What is it going to be?

What is it going to be?

Vinay watched me work for a while the other day in my studio. I knew he was coming, but didn’t notice him come in.  I didn’t notice anything but carving a granite ...

Brief Reflections on Experiments

Brief Reflections on Experiments

To a scientist like me, Experiments, a dance production that premiered at the Scotiabank Dance Centre at the end of November, was special. It is  rare for a work of ...

Repetition, precision and chaos

Repetition, precision and chaos

Sometime in the late '70s, MSc student Dave Marmorek, now retired president of ESSA Technologies Ltd, an ecological and social systems consulting company in Vancouve...

Lactate Burn

Lactate Burn

Forearms feel lactate burn sanding Red Recursion. Photo by David Shackleton.   Lactate Burn We got our TV at Christmas when I was almost 10 years old, and the...

More Thoughts on Creativity

More Thoughts on Creativity

Wild huckleberries on a bush outside my studio.   In a story about a nest of robins in my outdoor sculpting studio, The Deep Meaning of Creativity, I  sugges...