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Marble craving workshops

Greetings...

I have been teaching marble carving workshops since 2013 in Naxos Island.  I am honored to  have the opportunity to share my passion and knowledge that I have gained over the years. 

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My Story

The journey starts over 30 years ago while going for a ride with a friend in the Indiana countryside outside my hometown.  I must have been 17 years old.   Driving thru the mundane flat fields of corn and farms, we near the edge of forested rolling hills of southern Indiana.  I remember stopping in mid-conversation and screaming “STOP THE CAR!!!”, because in front of me was a site I could not believe.  A cultural oasis so close to my home and I didn’t know it existed.  Along the side of the road large limestone sculptures, monolithical blocks of stone carved with faces and figures.  It was the workshop and sculpture garden of artist C. R. Schiefer.  (The Touchables) I spent the next hour or so wondering in a daze, overwhelmed, in awe, and inspired.   Something at this moment woke up inside me.  Something that was later forgotten but re-awakened. 

I spent the following 2 years at Indiana University studying Art, drawing, scenic design.  One of my favorite classes being Greek art, archeology, and architecture.  I just took the courses I wanted.  The way the University was structured I was unable to decide on a major, so I left.  The next summer I re-visited Scheifer’s workshop and this time I met the artist.  After a little conversation he offered to show me basic techniques for cutting, carving, and polishing stones in exchange for the equal amount of time sanding and polishing his works.  In 3 months I fell in love with the stone, everything about a workshop, the sounds, the smell of the dust, the tools, the coldness but life of the stone.   The process of wielding blocks of nothing into living forms.

 

Also with a desire to travel, at the end of that short apprenticeship my boyfriend (who would be my partner in life for the next 13 years) and I left Indiana.  To Missouri, up to Washington State, and then all the way down to Austin, TX.   Along the way collecting stones, loading the car down, I must have gathered samples from each state.  We decide to settle down in the City of Austin.  I took a job as a waitress in a seafood restaurant.  We rented an old house with on a half-acre where I set up a work table behind a little garage.  I bought a small grinder and some hand tools and started working with the local limestone.  There was a quarry about an hour away where you can pay $20 and take away as much stone as you can carry.  I worked alone for a couple of years and also attending workshops at the Elizabeth Ney Conservatory. It was at that time I first saw an ad in SCULPTURE magazine for workshops in Greece in marble.  This was the ultimate for me, combining the love of sculpting and the Greek history together.  The dream was burning in my mind, but then life became busy.  I was working and started playing music (another passion of mine).  I set aside my tools for several years until…..   We went to New York for a performance and the next day had the opportunity to do some site-seeing.   The Guttenberg museum was having an exhibition on Brancusi.  At this moment reminded me that I was missing something.  I really love Brancusi’s work and to see it up close opened my heart again.  I had been missing my sculpture. 

 

Slowly over the next couple years things became chaotic in our lives. My relationship with my partner after 13 years was coming to an end.  In 2007 I rented a studio space and started gathering tools, stones, and supplies and planning my trip to Greece.   I had a good job and security, but this was something that I HAD to do. It’s hard to explain, it was almost as if I had no choice.  I sold my truck, a small boat to fund the trip.  I had to leave my job and put all my things in storage.    I had never traveled outside the US.   My plan was to go alone, to study, to experience.   I spent 2 weeks in England,  the entire month of June in Paris just walking everyday soaking up the history, going to the museums.  I arrive in Tinos island and spend 1 month at the workshop of Petros Delatollas.

 

And yes, the marble is just as beautiful as I imagined and the sea and the island. Yes, I fell in love again.    I stayed for two more months than originally planned.   I discovered the village of Pyrgos (home of Giannoulis Halepas and the School of Marble Arts) where I end up living for 1 ½ years.   Working in marble on my own, learning the Greek language, sketching, and working odd jobs just to live there.  The time comes one October where it is apparent that it is just too difficult to stay for the winter and that it is time to move on.  I had just enough money to travel for a couple of weeks and return to the States.   I go to Santorni just for holiday and then to Naxos where there is also a deep history of Marble arts.  Naxos is where I stay.   I met Christos at his workshop and he caught me in one minute.  My travel journey may have come to an end. But our journey together is just beginning, in marble, in life, and in family.

 

MAGGIE ROSS

Contact

Feel free to contact me, I'm always looking for new and exciting opportunities. 

(30) 694 765 8462

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