Jesse Ensling presents his portfolio of stone sculpture, and invites you to visit his website to see more of his work.
My work in stone carving started in college. I had to take a sculpting class as part of my course work and feared the class immensely because the professor had a strict, hard reputation. So, I finally took the class only to find out he was a wonderful man and my first mentor. He encouraged me to go to Italy to study marble carving with Milo Lazaravic in Pietrasanta, Italy. My love of stone and Italy was sealed. An experience I hope to have again. It was awesome!!
When I returned from Italy, I worked in stone at the New School and School of Visual Arts. I have learned from some great sculptors that have given me all their knowledge and the encouragement to grow in this medium. My current mentor, Barbara Segal, has introduced me to digital carving. The newest technologies help make this process the fastest way to finish a piece of work, but the learning curve needs to be as fast. Easy for you to say!
I have enjoyed working with a hand chisel and hammer, but it is very slow. You get an appreciation of the stone and its texture, strength and density. With pneumatic tools you have power and speed but, it requires you to stay focused as it can cut too much too fast and a redesign may be needed. Again, digital is amazing but, it removes you from the different stages of carving that bond you to the piece.
Carving each piece from picking out the stone to mounting it for showing is a time consuming process that is not for the artist that needs immediate gratification. My gratification comes from the discovery of what is within the stone as I carve. Seeing it come out of the stone and emerge as the finished piece is amazing. The slowness of carving stone is so amazing as you begin to see what emerges from the stone and layer by layer you almost peel away the stone to reveal what you see.
Stone Carving is not a popular medium in this fast paced world but, I find it connects me to this ancient form of expression and it’s past. It gives me my voice to express my love of nature and especially the ocean so it seems natural to me that I have found a medium from nature to express myself. My style is impressionistic, abstract and bimorphic. I am currently working a series of shells that are jumbo sized and heading for a gallery soon.