Joseph Conrad has worked & played in the stone industry for fifty years. From architectural drafting to quarrying to stone installations to founding a stone fabrication business to stone exploring and eventually to sculpture. His blog shares his lifetime of experience. It is meant to make the urban landscape understandable to everyone. He hopes to help provide a sense of place in the urban environment by providing his insights on stone history & fabrication.
Wednesday, March 19, 2014
My Blog Archive - Scroll down to view the List of My Blog Articles to Date
I have posted
ten essays on stone sculpture:
1 Some photos of my stone
sculpture are shown on Joseph Conrad Sampler
2 A video which seems to
have been viewed by 15,000 on YouTube, titled SPLITTING AND CUTTING
STONE, which is an ever-popular subject
3 The essay titled WHAT
MAKES STONE SCULPTURE SPECIAL is a general overview, which
differentiates the general forms we call sculpture and describes the
uniqueness of stone sculpture and the people who do it, as well as
why they do it.
4 The essay titled HOW
ARE YOU INSPIRED addresses one of the most commonly asked questions
to the stone carver. In it I describe how different artists approach
their art, and more specifically how I am inspired by stone with its
limitations and possibilities.
5 To more deeply
understand the process of stone carving read THE MAKING OF MY DAVID,
which is a photographic narrative with descriptions of all the
emotional and physical properties that go into making a serious art
6 To get a feeling for
what I experience when people come to my stone carving studio in
Portland, Oregon, read my title TWENTY FREQUENT QUESTIONS ASKED BY
VISITORS TO THE REMNANT YARD and TWENTY QUESTIONS I WOULD LIKE PEOPLE
TO ASK ME when they visit the stone yard.
7 8 9 To see the joy of
sourcing the marble I carve, read three blogs titled THERE'S MARBLE
IN THEM THERE ISLANDS, a personal journey into the rain forest of
S.E. Alaska, looking for historic marbles that were used to build
San Francisco and other historic cities in the west.
10 Can local stone and local stone sculptors overcome the "Italian Mystique"?
I also have published 10 essays on stone history and
1 WHY BLOG is a primer on
the stone industry. In it I describe the various roles in stone
quarrying and fabrication. It is a simplified overview to introduce
the reader to the world of stone.
2 THE LOST TRADE OF
STONECUTTING has been read by 20,000 readers in three publications,
my most widely read essay. People seem to enjoy history and
descriptions of historic processes. In it I use Portland as an
example but it could be set in most cities in this country. I would
like to do one in San Francisco, the place my father learned his
stone cutting trade in 1920.
3 STONECUTTERS URBAN
ECOLOGY 101 is a visual and descriptive process of the four major
advances in the stone industry that have defined our modern urban
nomenclature, intended to make the urban dweller more comfortable
with his surroundings – what has been described by academics as a
sense of place
4 FORM AS A RESULT OF
HISTORIC PROCESS is method of describing how architectural forms may
have evolved from practical solutions to engineering and fabrication
problems, hopefully one doesn’t have to remember all the
architectural terms to enjoy architecture. It's sort of an
architectural description by the craftsmen as opposed then the
5 6 7 8 A LOCAL BUSINESS
IS BORN is a four-part, but still incomplete, story of building a
marble business in Portland from 1968 to1993. More work needs to be
done to complete the story. It has also been nationally published and
widely read. My son needs to finish the next chapters. I think it
would make an excellent PHD economic study for local industry for
someone, someday. A local industry that grew from half a dozen people
to 500 people in 30 years due to improvements in gang sawing
technology overseas, creating local high skill fabrication jobs.
9 STONECUTTERS PROVIDE
THE HUMAN TOUCH was published in a national magazine in 1996. It
describes a process I called inside-out design in the design and
fabrication of marble tabernacle to go with a historic altar in a
10 HEROES OF LOCAL
KNOWLEDGE was published in a local, progressive magazine titled
OREGON'S FUTURE. It describes what is lost to a community when local
trades are lost to imported goods and services.
11 LUCKY TO GET IT discusses quality in stone fabrication.
anecdotal stories about the stone industry:
1 BITS OF ADVICE GIVEN ME
BE STONE PEOPLE
2 HOWARD THE ONE HUNDRED
POUND MUSCLE MAN, stone handling at its finest