Coastal Marin Artists Gallery

Rick Springer
Stone: Animals and Objects

September 29 - November 11, 2012 / Curated by Lucy Van Sands Seeburg

stone snake

 To begin a sculpture I start by considering the stone.  There are limitations of shape, texture, strength and kind of stone, but within those limitations there are endless possibilities. I made a long stone bowl of dense granite, for example, it is actually a boat that floats on water.  I learn as I work, liking challenges and solving problems, but it does not come easy.  This is the kind of hard work that makes or breaks you. Now-days there are lasers and water jets that cut stone, but I work with hand tools (some are electric), it is labor intensive, but you learn sensitivity to yourself and the rock doing it this way.

 I like being efficient, owning my own style, knowing sound principals then stretching the ideas.  Doing this kind of work is like chess parables—looking ahead, taking steps now to solve upcoming problems.  Sculpting stone, I become totally engaged, I feel the stone and feel the weight of my strokes. I get locked into a short depth of field that can be like entering a micro-world; the strike of hammer and chisel on stone creates a “big bang” burst of dust, a universe in stone dust.


marble piglet

 Rick Springer grew up in up state New York. Interest in working with stone casually came into his life when he and companions experimented with using river rocks to make structures. After moving to Bolinas  Rick spent three years working for stonemason Doug Bryant.  He says,  “I saw that stone work is like creating a stage where scenes and dramas come and go on that stage, but the stage remains.” Today he is happily employed by well-known Bolinas master stonemason George Gonzalez and crew.

Besides his own sculptures, Rick has done a wide variety of stone work projects for private commissions. He says,” Now I am interested in doing public or private projects on a bigger scale, creating sites that future viewers will see as timeless and historic someday.”