The Joy of Carrara

From the day I realised I was a sculptor and reading about the romantic ideal of being a stone carver in the mountains of Italy, I never really wanted to go; I didn’t want to break the myth.

40th birthday prezzzie to Carrera for 2 whole weeks from my doting hubby…Stone Carving!!!! Wow, I had to go now, the gift of uninterrupted time to think purely about form and how to work that stone, delicious!

I rented a car I found great for a bit of independence.  Arrived at B&B (simple clean friendly) and was whisked over to Steve Shaheen (team Leader) and gang at a local pizza haunt, superb, we ate and drank and found out about each other, made some plan for the morning pick up and together worked out the best course of action.

Tool shops, fantastic in all my days as a bronze caster, I have never seen such dedicated tool shops for the task in hand, a great place to stock up on the tools you always wanted a bit cheaper than UK, and things you have never seen…. Brilliant, Steve is a wiz on tools great advice and you don’t need a great deal to get going…


Steve, well he is the backbone of the course, he has skills and talents beyond the chisel, he has a sensitive way to teach, he could take a novice or a skilled sculptor and let you make the course your own, either way he makes this place sing.  He is a wonderful guy to spend your time with, and a fantastic sculptor.

Leonardo welcomes you to the yard, where lumps and piles of stones are there to be claimed and carved; lunch is a prompt 12 with great piles of pasta to keep you going and wine, and great stories from the gang. (Take tea, Brits!  Espresso doesn’t always do the job.) It was a great pleasure to work alongside these artisans, for they have skills like no other.

We spent a day out in Florence and for a small fee we hired the great Piergiacomo, a specialist art historian, who did the ultimate M. Angelo tour, superb…. Have an early night though it is a long day.

The two weeks were a sumptuous blur, a decadent battle between you and the marble.

Last day pack up and organise shipping, your case arrives about a month later, and you have proof that you carved in Carrara.

The myth and dreams were not dashed but further ignited. The plan for next year is now taking place.  You should go… because it’s sublime.

Beth Cullen



Comments are closed.