Alison Small started her formal education at The School of Visual Arts in New York City, where she studied graphic design, illustration and fine arts. Alison continued her studies at the Center of the Arts at Villa Maria in Perugia, Italy. It was there she was first introduced to the art of stone sculpting.
After returning from Perugia, Italy and feeling an instant connection with the stone, Alison began to study at the Armory Art Center and the Alicia Deya art studio, in Palm Beach, Florida. As her love for stone carving grew, Alison found herself traveling to Marble, Colorado where she continued studying the process and art of stone sculpting with The Marble Institute of Colorado at Marble/marble.
In 1997, Alison moved to Boulder Colorado to be closer to Marble, CO and other stone carvers. She then began spending time between Marble, Colorado and Pietrasanta, Italy where she carved at Studio Sem and Togni Umberto Studio along side the artisans that still carve in the traditions of old. She also studied at The Globle Stone Workshops in Volterra, Italy where the focus was on Italian Alabaster.
Alison considers herself a direct stone sculptor. Direct carving is when an artist works directly with the stone rather than from models or drawings.
"It really starts with the stone itself. First, I consider the natural shape and color before removing the corners, hard edges and the surface skin of the stone. Then I allow my creativity to develop the design. It’s a collaboration between the stone and myself. Once I see the direction the stone is taking me, I might make a loose model or drawing in order to formulate my approach.”
I feel that sculpting has taught me many lesson in life. It has taught me patience, perseverance, trust in myself and great respect for the stone and the tools that I use. The trust factor is huge and something that you learn in time. For when you are a direct sculptor, you must have that trust to push yourself further into the stone to find your image.
Alison enjoys educating the public on all facets of stone sculpting. She has participated in Open Studios and co-produced the Stone Sculptor’s Showcases, featured at the Colorado History Museum in Denver, CO. These all-stone sculpture exhibitions displayed over a hundred plus stone sculptures. People were able to see the different tools used, along with an on site carving demonstration.
"My art is my true love and passion. Each discovery I make within my sculpture is a discovery I make within myself. I have worked in different mediums, but it is the most incredible feeling when I see my vision emerge out of a piece of stone.”
Copyright ©2009, Alison Small