To promote awareness and appreciation of the activity of stone carving and to provide training in the traditional techniques of stone carving.
ABOUT THE PROGRAM
In 2015, I established Pellettieri Stone Carvers’ Academy with the goal of sharing an activity that has brought so much joy and purpose into my life. I did this partly because the tradition of stone carving is really in peril and without nurturing, it may soon be lost. I also had the desire to help make the world better by waking people up to the power they have within them to transform blocks of stone into beautiful sculptures by channeling the energy of their hands and minds through a set of methods and techniques that connects us to ancient wisdom.
The first program of Pellettieri Stone Carvers’ Academy took place in the summer of 2015 and the participants were high school students. It was a very exciting opportunity to share stone carving with people who were just beginning to envision their lives after they graduate from school.
The second program just finished. This time the participants were older. They were adults who had heard about the Pellettieri Stone Carvers’ Academy and some had travelled from as far away as Washington State. Unlike the teens, they came into the program with a strong desire to learn stone carving already in their hearts. Not surprisingly, they were very highly motivated and the atmosphere was one of total dedication to making the most of this opportunity to embrace challenges and grow. All four of the participants left the program with a sense that they were better prepared to pursue their dreams.
I am currently working on setting up the next full year of diverse programming: single day introductory workshops, school demonstrations, week-long summer camp-like experiences, as well as six or eight week long training programs. I am consciously seeking varied approaches to fulfill the mission of spreading awareness of the activity of stone carving and offering training in its techniques.
Trading Rifles for Chisels:
Veterans' Training Program
Since starting Pellettieri Stone Carvers' Academy in 2015, we have run two six-week training programs in New York City. I have decided to expand and run a six-month program in 2018. It will be a special program for four veterans. By increasing the length from six weeks to six months, the participants will be able to achieve a level of competence, as did the participants in the earlier programs, and continue from there to collaborate on a substantial project. Given their military background, the resulting work is sure to be very meaningful, and it will be exhibited in public or optimally even permanently installed in a public place.
I am very pleased to be offering this opportunity to people who have served our country bravely. Transitioning veterans need to channel their energy productively. Breaking chips off a large block of stone using traditional mallet and chisel will offer an excellent, positive, creative outlet for them. This program will also offer fellowship: the opportunity to spend time among people who've been through similar experiences and understand. It will offer income, as the participants will be paid, and best of all, it will offer these veterans the opportunity to make a statement in the language of carved stone that could last for centuries.
There is no stone experience required. Also, it is not a requirement for prospective trainees to have experience in painting or sculpture. The ability to concentrate for long periods is an advantage. The purpose of the program is to present the trainees with a sequence of stone shaping challenges starting with the most basic and adding a level of difficulty with each new challenge. In this way, the trainees will become competent within about two months. Once they are at this stage, they will collaborate on designing and carving a substantial project that will be exhibited in public. Shaping stone by traditional methods is highly therapeutic, and it is also a goal of the program to provide an experience that will support the participants in healing from trauma.
If you would like more information about this program, please submit the form below.
Our first two training programs were funded by the generosity of past clients-people who had commissioned me to create stone carvings for them. The budget for this expanded program is much larger, and your help is essential.
Please consider making a donation to help fund this exciting project.
Pellettieri Stone Carvers' Academy is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, so your donation would be tax deductible.
“Chris Pellettieri put together a program tailored to my needs and the needs of three other like-minded students. Suddenly, I had a room full of people who were practicing my craft. We had daily discussions about stone, and learned through each person’s unique experiences. We had the opportunity to make mistakes and to correct them without ruining a commissioned work. Chris made everything, from his work-space and tools to his expertise, available to us on-demand. As artists, we were nurtured to create our own ideas and as craftsmen, we were tested. By the end of the six-week course, I was returning home with a new level of confidence.”
- Ed Salerno
“The experience of taking the workshop that Chris offered exceeded my expectations. An accelerated course, it began with basic masonry techniques. This offered us, the students the opportunity to familiarize ourselves with the tools, as well as to practice stone carving on a very basic, yet precise level. Following this, we learned how to carve letters. This stage challenged us in how to use the tools with more finesse, as well as increasing our sensitivity to precision. Following this, we eased our way into actual sculpture with raised letters in relief, followed by a simple face in high relief, which was a multi-step process that required drawing our idea from the front and side of the face. This was an invaluable lesson in how to convert one’s ideas from a drawing into another material, which in this case was limestone. The final assignment, which was the longest, was to create a sculpture in the round. This required modeling a clay version of the piece which would be translated into stone using a pointing device that recorded the exact location in space of a specific point on the sculpture. This is a very old technique that is still used today, and it is truly indespensable for stone sculptors.”
- Chris Alles
“Without the few people like Chris who are dedicated not only to practice but to instruction, traditional stone masonry techniques would die out completely in America.”
- Morgan Dummitt
This program was funded by generous donations from:
Mr. and Mrs. Goodfellow
Mr. and Mrs. Denning
Mr. and Mrs. Ricciardi
Dean and Mrs. Morton
The Froelich Foundation
MAKE A DONATION
Help support the art of stone carving. Make a tax deductible donation by clicking on the donate button below.