Howard Joel Sculpture

The Sculpture of Howard Joel Schechter

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Artist Statement

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I came to stone sculpture a bit mysteriously. After many years of writing and painting I felt called, seemingly with no previous warning, at the rather advanced age of 60, to sculpting in stone. (More recently I have come to see the continuous thread: how I carved soap and fashioned clay as a child, as well as my life long enchantment with standing stones).

With some guidance to begin, I am fundamentally self taught in the art and craft of stone sculpture. I believe this has supported an original and raw style, somewhat unique in stone sculpture.

What I do is called “direct carving.” I do not use sketches or models. I begin by searching for the shape in the stone that wants to emerge and I amplify it. If nothing comes forward, I look for an inviting place to make the first entry with chisel or blade, and move with the stone from there. What usually emerges are sculptural images I call “Beings from the Dream Time.”

I work outside and I am lost for hours on end in the shape and texture of stone.

These pieces are carved in either Italian marble or domestic alabaster. Both are wonderful forms of stone. The marble is a bit harder and can live well outside. The alabaster is more porous and needs to either be inside or well covered for it to last in its best condition. Both forms of stone suit my nature and as a result allow beauty to emerge.