Relief carving by Ron Branch circa 1989 ~ I’d like to do a series of these soon. This is a small piece of flagstone, approximately 8″ x 12″. It has hand crafted mounting hardware by Bill Branch (my Dad).
Between glass and stone I feel stone is the more forgiving medium to work with. As a material, float glass is predictable, as in there are no hidden surprises. As a transparent canvas it is unique, with its distinctly beautiful qualities, but there is no variance from piece to piece… and so it quickly becomes all about the etching.
With stone however, you are entering the unknown. Oddly though, this is not a source of anxiety. Instead, a great deal of the pressure is off. In those rare occasions that something bad is coming, like a severe crack, or a pocket of nothingness, you don’t see it until it arrives. Blaming yourself for the issue is useless since you really had no way of foreseeing it. Blaming the stone, well… that would just be absurd.
So for me there is a self granted state of acceptance. Besides, most of the “surprises” are often what I like best about the finished piece. There really IS therefore, a strong feeling of interaction, a kind of partnership with the material. By virtue of it’s unpredictable variances, it participates – lending its uniqueness to the art.