7/15/20: Sourcing Stone
When I no longer live in Vietnam, I know the one thing I'll miss most will be the process of finding stone.
A perk of living in Đà Nẵng, VN has been the established marble industry and sculptures surrounding Ngũ Hành Sơn, also known as Marble Mountain. For the last few years I have hopped on my motorbike and driven through the villages surrounding this mountain in search of quality stone scraps - pieces of stone that have been discarded or abandoned by local sculptors.
Luckily for me, Vietnamese sculptors don’t favor the crust portion of the stone. They'd prefer to make sculptures that show no sign of rawness. First they source giant blocks of stone from Northern Vietnam, Pakistan, and parts of Africa and India. Then the stone is processed by sculpture companies who cut away the corners and sides, leaving only clean-cut blocks to be used for traditional subjects like Buddha or mythical guardians. This is great for me as I love to incorporate the raw edge of the stone into my pieces - it’s a detail that only nature can create through time. The seemingly raw and chaotic texture of the crust displays the perfect contrast to the smooth order of the carving.