I am willingly captivated by stone. The rock chooses what it will reveal. Stone carving is a prayer, a dance and a celebration of the enduring Great Mystery. When I lay the chisel down the truth remains that “it was an amazing rock.” Stone sculpting is humbling. When much of today’s art is long forgotten stone carvings remain.
The number of stone carvers is diminishing as bronze casting becomes more accessible and increases profits for the artists. Working with rocks is physically challenging and can be hazardous unless proper precautions are taken. Few women sculpt in stone. Historically it has been a man’s craft. I often wonder how the antiquities would be different if women had sculpted in stone.
Sculpting has been part of my life as long as I can remember. As a child, I dug clay from the creek bed on our farm in Ohio and baked my first figurines on the chicken house roof. After I had children I continued to sculpt in play dough and pie dough. The all consuming nature of an artist's life is incompatible with good mothering. For many years art was sublimated into everyday events.
At age 35 when my children were in school I started college. Significant learning differences involving processing speed and dyslexia made it difficult for me to go to college until advanced word processing and computers were widely in use. (Perhaps these differences help explain my ability to express the thee dimensions.) In 1998 I completed an MA in counseling psychology from Northern Arizona University. I worked for some time as crisis therapist and in private practice in Arizona. Throughout my education I took numerous art courses and discovered I had an uncommon natural ability in subtractive sculpture.
When my children were grown a series of events brought me to Santa Fe. I met a stone sculptor who taught me about stone working tools. I liked the simplicity and quietness of working with a simple hammer, stone chisel and various rasps rather than the power tools often used to work with stone. . Some of my first pieces were shown at a prominent gallery on Canyon Road. Santa Fe is the second largest art center in the US (second only to New York City) and Canyon Rd. is replete with world class galleries. Currently I retain all of my work as part of my private collection . I show each week at the Tesuque Pueblo Market just north of Santa Fe. The market there represents the best of community with artists and vendors from around the globe.
Art is expression but at times express myself in words. I write and speak about peace and spirituality. (http://karencobb.blogspot.com) Also y written articles can be found online with the name “Karen Horst Cobb“ The word “Cairn” is pronounced much the same as “Karen” and is the name for a pile of rocks along an obscure path. It is an excellent symbol for humanity’s travels along the often obscure path of peace. I desire to be a marker along that path. On these pages I offer up “Cairns” as tangible prayers for peace, carved in stone.