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Easton


A sculptor since 1976, Easton works intuitively, selecting materials for their inherent qualities and form and working guided by the dynamic interaction of his tools and materials.

Self-taught, he carves stone ranging in size from six inches to four feet, and from 5 to 500 pounds. He works in Italian marble, American and Italian alabaster, and, less frequently, American soapstone, walnut, redwood, and driftwood from the Pacific Ocean.

A 1989 sculpture intensive in Carrrara, Italy, exposed Easton directly to cultures where the tradition of statuary lives vitally. Working alongside other international artists and artisans, he followed in the tradition of sculptors from Roman and Renaissance times, producing a substantial body of work from Carrara marbles.

“I carve statues from single blocks of stone. I start with a piece of material that interests me for its color, shape, and intrinsic qualities. I may have a general conception of a form or at least a gesture, or, more usually, I may have no preconception. I then enter into an intimate dialogue with the stone, removing material here, shaping it there, until I have a sense of an ‘entity’ evolving from the stone. To me, this ‘entity’ may be inanimate, like a book, or it may be like a being dwelling in some universe of the subconscious, with some kind of life and history embodied in it. The sculpture ceases to be a block of stone and exhibits a personality, just as a book is more than paper and covers, and when we become even more familiar with it, it ceases to be a book and becomes Moby Dick.

“People looking at my work for the first time often ask me what it is, what it means, what it means to me. While I spend a lot of time working on the pieces, and between working even more time thinking about them, I try not to assess and define them in logical terms. Rather I try to view them as formal compositions where the elements relate to each other and contribute to the whole. The resulting unity may be completely non-objective or may be a recognizable abstraction, but what determines its success, to me, is a quality of ‘rightness’ that should shine forth: the piece should be able to stand by itself and be believable.

“What I try to do when I am sculpting is to use my true inner self, my psychology, spirit, and animal existence, to create objects that speak to the universal in us. To take solid, natural matter and re-form it so that the result has the formal validity of a tree or a human body, but is a new thing in the universe, a thing that speaks to our minds and spirits and emotions; that speaks, perhaps, about the more lasting, more important matters of life. That is a large burden to place upon a piece of rock, and sometimes I just settle for something nice-looking and comfortable, something nice to have around. At best, though, I aspire to images that centuries from now will still move humans and will make them wonder about who made them and what their life was like.”

In 1968 he received a B.A. in Chemistry from La Salle College in Philadelphia, and in 1970 he received an M.A. in English Literature from the University of Oregon in Eugene.
 
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