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Paul Wolff A&M2

I sculpt in soapstone. Over the years, my work has been cast in various media including bronze, stainless steel, resin, concrete, lucite and lead glass. Currently I am focused on glass castings, finding this medium the best way to showcase my recent work. I am, however, amenable to working with a client who may desire a piece in either a different size or medium than what I have initially chosen. This has been done, for example,  in instances where a client has wanted the piece for outdoor display. I selected soapstone because it is hard enough to hold an edge and soft enough to be worked with hand tools and without an air compressor which lessens the feel for the stone and to me detracts from the relationship between the artist and the stone. The maquette stands on its own as a work of art with its elegant veining and subtle color variations. Working by subtraction rather than addition, as with clay, provides a never ending search for the object inside the stone, a communion between artist and object that does not exist with any other medium. Because of the finality of any sculpting, working in stone requires heightened contemplation and carries with it the constant risk that what the mind’s eye sees will not translate aesthetically. Producing a maquette in stone provides a sense of accomplishment for me not otherwise available. 

My work is entirely abstract, solely done to please the viewer’s eye. There are no themes. Nothing is represented or alluded to. The quest is neither historical nor autobiographical. Names for my works are selected by the foundry, purely for purposes of identification. Any resemblance to any object or idea is solely for the mind of the viewer. My search is to find the figure lurking inside the stone. No artist has influenced me more than Barbara Hepworth whose work has set a bar so high that I could never approach it, but which nonetheless gives me tremendous enjoyment in trying. The absence of space that marks so many of her works for me has been a recurring motif, not by design, but as the end product of my search for what the stone will reveal. 


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