Bloomington, IN - Indiana Limestone Company has for the third consecutive year been a proud sponsor of the Canadian Stone Carving Festival, held recently in Ottawa. The annual event drew 32 Canadian sculptors and artisans for a three-day festival that encourages visitor interaction with artists as they carve unique works in stone using traditional methods.
Premium limestone from the company's famous quarries in central Indiana was shipped to Canada for participants to use in their work.
Ottawa, site of the festival for the sixth time in its nine-year history, has long been noted for its history as a focus of sculpture. Parliament Hill in the capital displays many outstanding examples of the stone carver's art. Indiana Limestone is an excellent medium for carving, as demonstrated by its selection last year for the First Nations Peace Monument at DeCew House Heritage Park in Thorold, Ont.
As in previous years, the 2018 event was modeled on European stone carving festivals. Each carver worked from a solid block of stone - 12 x 12 x 8 inches. Only hand tools and traditional methods are used to create each work of art during just 20 hours during the festival.
Danny Barber, partner in the Smith and Barber Sculpture Atelier, Ottawa, and a driving force behind the festival, says Indiana Limestone is a favored choice to put in the hands of participants. "We love the consistency of this limestone," he said. "It takes a really nice edge. It's easy to carve, but it's not too soft, either." The stone also works well in demonstration efforts that encourage visitors to attempt carving themselves.
Works produced over the weekend were offered at auction. Barber said auction proceeds, amounting to more than $9300, benefited Ottawa Innercity Ministries.
Festival officials and participants have praised the versatility and high quality Indiana Limestone provides. The state's native limestone is noted for its characteristic ability to accept carved detail.
"Continuing our support of this event is a source of great pride for us, especially as it puts our stone in the hands of outstanding carvers from around the world," said Duffe Elkins, Indiana Limestone Company COO. "We've hoped from the start that demonstrating the qualities of our stone will encourage artists and artisans to use it even more widely."