Book Reviews of Rock Sculpture: The Joy of Carving Stone.

Violet Stage's fascination with rock carving is a delightful, straightforward account, written with a friendly and personal interest, directly to you. You will feel her excitement when she discovers this highly-creative medium in a Chicago rock shop and tells of her early instruction from an elderly Chinese gentleman of few words. When asked how he made his carvings, his answer, "Tools and time," could not have summed it up more neatly. Their short interview included what might have been the best advice of all..."Carve from the heart." He offered further counsel on learning the art of stone sculpture from carving alabaster, the "teaching stone," saying, "The stone will teach and tell you all you want to know." The interview was over. From that time to this, Mrs. Stage has tirelessly learned her craft from the ground up, with encouragement and help from her husband, Ike.

Rock Sculpture for Beginners will inspire you immediately, and will lead you from the gathering of the basic equipment needed (common things found around the house), to the anatomy of the subjects you will be carving, through to a detailed knowledge of the various sizes, shapes, and hardnesses of the kinds of stone available for this craft. You will be surprised at how little it takes to begin this rewarding hobby. Violet's guidance and insight punctuate this book throughout: "Hands are very expressive. As a subject, hands are a sculptor's delight. And keep your mind on your work, because your hands automatically express your thoughts!"

The book is complete with beautiful color photographs of many of Mrs. Stage's masterpieces, including a carved chess set, and various animal and human forms. Speaking of a little Spanish lady sitting in a chair of tapestry, the author said: "Nature put her together and I had the pleasure of carving her out for all to see and enjoy. I often wonder how many million years she was entombed before I released her."