Featured Artist T Barny

Artist and sculptor T Barny explains why he “breaks rock.” Enjoy his dynamic portfolio and see more by visiting his website.


"HYOID" Utah Calcite, 13" x 22" x 11"

“HYOID” Utah Calcite, 13″ x 22″ x 11″


Pablo Picasso once said, “Every act of creation is first an act of destruction.” I have been breaking into rock for forty years and it still thrills me. In the act of creation, some artists tear down what is familiar in order to give birth to their art. The earth creates the rock, and my goal is to release the beauty that is inside the rock. During my career, I have produced over 1000 sculptures out of 207 different types of stone sourced from 48 countries.


"CONFLARE" Canadian Leopard Marble, 11" x 24" x 8"

“CONFLARE” Canadian Leopard Marble, 11″ x 24″ x 8″


I break the rock in many different ways. In my younger days, I used a hammer and chisel with some power tools. My process was to chip away at the rock’s surface to reach what lay within.


"AFFICERE" Italian Alabaster,11" x 14" x 12"

“AFFICERE” Italian Alabaster,11″ x 14″ x 12″


Sometimes I need to split an extraordinarily large rock into smaller pieces. To break the stone apart, I can use a hammer drill with “Pins and Feather” wedges or I use a non-explosive dynamite method, where I place Dexpan into deep-drilled holes. This combination of chemicals expands and eventually cracks the rock open.


"MISTRAL"(In Process) Utah Ryolite 24" x 93" x 24"

“MISTRAL”(In Process) Utah Ryolite 24″ x 93″ x 24”


These days I use a diamond core drill—a 5-ton machine that makes carefully placed circular holes in the rock. I used to remove the unwanted rock from the outside in. Now, I remove stone from the inside out and shape the exterior form, releasing its inner beauty.


"RELIQUARY" (Left: In Process, Right: Finished Piece) Chinese Fluorite, 22" x 26" x 10"

“RELIQUARY” (Left: In Process, Right: Finished Piece) Chinese Fluorite, 22″ x 26″ x 10″


My sculptures bring symmetry and energy to the stone. I carve with the movement the rock wants to release. Once I capture the stone’s energy, I gently shape the rock into one of my favorite abstract forms—Mobius, curvilinear, or superellipsoid.


"HEXAD" Iranian Onyx, 14" x 18" x 13"

“HEXAD” Iranian Onyx, 14″ x 18″ x 13″


The final step is sanding and polishing the surface to seal the stone’s matrix and bring out the amazing patterns and beautiful colors that were hidden within the rock.


Artist T Barny invites you to follow him on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.


Want to stay current on cutting edge business articles from Artsy Shark, plus artist features, and an invitation to the next Call for Artists? Subscribe to our twice-monthly Updates, and get a free e-book on Where to Sell Art Online right now!



  1. What is it about rocks that want to be touched?

Speak Your Mind