Monday, September 07, 2009




Bulgarian Marble
2.50m Long

13th International Symposium in Stone

This work is a street bench sited in Burgas City
and can seat six adults.

The Story

This was the first symposium I took part in on invitation . Bulgaria was still under the Communist rule of Russia at the time but none of this I gave any thought to . What was in the forefront of my mind at this time was that the biggest stone up till now that I had carved was no more than two feet tall and only limestone , never marble or granite . In carving marble it's a different approach , mentally and technically , this I know now but back then all I wanted to do was carve stone , any stone type . The symposium ran for thirteen weeks and I had time , time to learn and time to find myself with the stone . I was the ' boy ' in the camp , I think about ten sculptors in all , older than me and very experienced in the working of the stone . It was from these men that I got a good foundation in stone carving and I thank them for that , maybe some of them are dead by now but they still live on in my memories to this day .
Zyma - Zena is a Bulgarian saying for a ' good woman ' and a ' bad woman ' it depends on the way it is used in the sentence . I was in a coffee shop with a Polish and Kazakh , both very talented sculptors , who were also taking part in the symposium . They took me into there ' care ' more or less , they spoke Russian and I spoke English , but that did not stop us from spending all of that day and many others together , drinking beer or wine or believe it or not sometimes coffee . Anyway , while in the coffee shop I kept hearing from another table the words , not once but many times , ' Zyma - Zena ' and asked , [ the long way about ] , my friends what it meant , ' Zyma - Zena ' ........... and it was explained to me , [ in the long way about ] , as these things are when only Russian and English are spoken through a haze of smoke , beer and eating raw sardines , and my sculpture began to take shape in that coffee shop , I can't say in my mind because it was not ' clear ' but the next twelve weeks were spent with my '' Zyma - Zena '' learning to cut marble and feeling alive and I thank Bulgaria for that experience .

                                  My block at day one . Registered & Protected

1 comment:

Betsy Grant said...

How fortunate you were to have that experience in Bulgaria, and this piece is wonderful DAF - nice work.