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Sculpture gallery - Tom Small

How does light move through stone? I try to push past stone's identity as gravity-bound. Can flight or movement be suggested? Can architectural forms be invested with living skin and bone? I am currently working on a large arcing skeleton of steel, like the frame of a house or ship, on it, carved stone suggesting rectilinear muscles, and the feather and tissue which hint at the pull toward flight.

I'm intrigued by the ways in which human art, architecture, and design resonate with natural influences. One of my favorite resources is a very old Douglas Fir living on the land I occupy. When I lie on the ground and look up, it provides infinite intersections of line. Light presses in as its own entity. We don't say, "that branch is in the wrong place." The tree prompts me to ask myself, how can I achieve that integrity and excitement in my art?

Architectural Fantasy

The structures we live in, move around in, and have built seem loaded with metaphors. A house or building can represent our moods. The positions of doors, windows, and rooms may represent our relationships with each other. A stairway or a door could be an invitation.

A broken tower might be a story of war or an unknown future. A fantastic shape may suggest freedom and future potential. Architectural forms turn on all the human memories of structures in stone and the experiences that go with them - ritual, awe, and worship. I hope to hint at all this and more. I hope to engage people in stories that they will want to tell. I try to keep the 'stoniness' of stone in my work.

The broken faces and rough edges remind us where they came from millions of years ago. (the basalt I use is 5 million years old). At the same time the stones move forward into the future with new story telling.


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Basins & Fountains - Benches

These pieces have been created to enhance the energy of outdoor environments. I love the Washington granite which has been exposed to glacial activity, and the columnar basalt pulled from the volcanic cliffs in the eastern parts of the state. When polished, beautiful colors emerge, which reach out and converge with the soul of a landscape. Every time I install a big piece in a garden, I find that it focuses the intentions of that place, with dignity and stillness which draw people to touch, contemplate. Driveway sign stones similarly beckon the visitor, to enter, and become a part of a personal, natural world.

New Work

The following pieces represent my latest explorations into sculpture. Some of these works are commissions, others can be found in galleries or homes, and a few live happily in the old forest here on Cady Mountain.

Public Art

I am grateful for the opportunity to place my work in public environments. These pieces have been purchased from sculpture exhibitions or commissioned directly from me to enhance specific locations.

Stone and Metal

I am drawn to the relation of metal to rock, of the ways in which they meet. All of the earth, bronze and steel blend with stone, and speak with tension and harmony. An object charged with dual elements generates a visual conversation with all the stuff of its material surroundings. Again, the visitor is compelled to touch, and to think about conjunctions, and the dance and weld of things meeting.