Stone World

From diamond tooling to sculpture

August 22, 2001
After years of working in the industrial diamond industry - including equipment and accessories for fabricating natural stone - Ben Levy found himself intrigued by the thought of sculpture. And after studying with a sculpting professional in his hometown in Virginia Beach, VA, Levy opened his first exhibit earlier this year.

Levy - who works for Regent Stone Products, a supplier of stone fabricating tools and accessories - became involved in the craft while evaluating various diamond tools for stone fabrication. "I was testing how the different tools would work on different stone shapes, and it went from there," he said.

Levy began working with a sculptor in the area, Matt Fine, whose work has been displayed on a national level. Working with Fine, Levy updated his technique for hand finishing, and began producing sculptural work. His first sculpture exhibit, entitled "The Beginning," opened in Virginia Beach in January of this year.

The sculptures are done in various geometric shapes, and the idea behind the project was to contrast the solidity of stone with light - either natural light or artificial light. This was achieved by carving openings directly into stone, or by creating slots along the edge of a piece to allow the light to filter through. Additionally, one piece utilizes internal neon lighting to glow from within the body of the stone.

With the pieces for "The Beginning" complete, Levy is currently completing a memorial piece for eight Virginia Beach Police officers who fell in the line of duty. Additionally, the proceeds from sales of his work are donated to various children's charities.