There is something about bears that attracts me to make them the focus of my art.
Mama bears, well fed bears or totally exhausted bears. Just like people, bears have personalities that I try to capture those personalities in my art. Soapstone is an excellent medium for me to make bears. This stone is alot more forgiving than wood and has much more personality than a limestone for example. Within the soapstone world, Brazilian soapstone has been my first choice of material . A large part of this began with my mentor; Ben Henry who carves from Brazilian soapstone. Start with what you know. I do branch out into the different soapstone choices. The range of colours and hardness is endless . Each country has a different geological make up and therefore different colours appear in the stone. Brazilian soapstone generally has a range of greens and browns, Canadian runs generally from greens to blacks and Asian the range includes; white to pinks and, there are many more. Aquamarine, bright red – and we could go on. The three bears pictured here two are Brazilian and one is Asian soapstone. Even with the same ‘mother’ rock, cutting off a piece of the same stone will generally have 2 bears that look very different from each other . No two people are exactly the same and no two bears will be the same. Differences are what make art so accessible to everyone and make it so enjoyable for me to carve.