Stone carver Vance Theoret connects with each stone, allowing its ancient memory to speak to him. Using this first impression of what the stone has revealed, he applies a ‘direct carve’ approach, letting the design emerge. This rough image is then refined into a clean, solid sculpture, with precise, yet minimal, detail. “I let the stone tell me what it wants to be.”
“The results are far more exciting than if I forced my ideas on my material.” While Vance’s work portrays the physical presence of the stone, it also evokes a wide range of emotions – from humour to a sense of tenderness shared between mother and baby – and seems to touch you on a very primal level. Working in alabasters, soapstones, slate, chlorite and Kissi stone, Vance carves a variety of subjects – but bears are by far his favourite.
“Bears are like big kids that never really grow up. So I can get away with portraying a lot of human qualities in them. I like to explore the more playful, curious aspects of bears”.