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.  There was a wildfire near here yesterday.  Because of the fire, I got to do somethi...

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 a...

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

  In my work as a university professor, questions about where ideas come from were central to everything I did in research and teaching, and now, as a full-time...

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.  I knew as a chil...

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 Eternal Flame bronze with colour scheme inverted. What makes the difference between creative people and the rest of us?  People have been aski...

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.   In responding to my story about making sculpture, Thoughts on the Creative Process, Renee pointed to...

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

  Where ideas come from is a fascinating question I’ve wondered about all my life, especially in relation to creativity.  In the rich literature on creativit...

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

Forearm muscles feel lactate burn sanding Red Recursion. Photo by David Shackleton. We got our TV at Christmas when I was almost 10 years old, there just one channe...

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...

On Moving Forms Into Being

On Moving Forms Into Being

The Granite Madonna. Sculpture and photos by Lee Gass. This was the first of a series of stories about Experiments, brainchild of chore- ographer and dancer Gail Lo...