Skip Bellock

Carvings in Wood

Artist Skip Bellock

Artist Skip Bellock

“I am a 65 year old Utah stone and wood carver transplanted from the Midwest to the Wasatch Mountains 44 years ago. I have a degree in Geology and retired from General Contracting in 2001. Since then I’ve been satisfying my creative instincts by turning and carving wood and stone.”

“For several years I imported and carved the rare and beautiful Australian burls, but have recently ‘rediscovered’ the innate beauty of our domestic hardwoods such as walnut, ash, maple and honey locust. Recently I returned to my geologic roots and have started to carve stone. Currently I have been using the beautiful Honeycomb calcite from Utah’s Uinta Mountains. Like many artists I gain inspiration from my surroundings. My wife and I are avid scuba divers and the influence of the vast array of marine life I’ve encountered can be seen in most of my recent work. The pieces represented here reflect an admiration for the variety of life forms whose lives have been shaped by the currents, tides and temperatures…much as the trees and stones reflect the environment that they were formed in.”

“My wood work begins with trees local arborists have removed. I attack a log with a chainsaw typically roughing out the interior of the form first. This defines the ultimate shape of the piece. After I’m satisfied with the size and shape of the interior I begin cutting the exterior of the piece. These cuts roughly mirror the interior cuts. When I’ve cut as much as I feel I can comfortably cut with the chainsaw I begin refining the shape with a variety of hand held power cutters and files ultimately finishing by sanding the piece with very fine 400 grit sandpaper. Depending upon the species of wood being carved numerous coats of oils or lacquers are applied.”

“Stone work employs slightly different tools, but similar thought and creative processes. I try to work with what the stone has to offer, both in shape and texture. Saw cutting with a diamond blade on a grinder cuts the stone roughly to the shape I’d like and removes unwanted material. Then again using a grinder (the same ones I use on wood) but with diamond impregnated wheels I grind and shape the stone to its final form. Then also like with the wood work the sanding begins. While I stop sanding the wood at a 400 grit, I continue with the stone through 3000 grit in most cases and often 8000 grit as is the case with the calcite. The piece is then waxed. The bases are a black granite (gabbro actually) from India. They are shaped and finished by the same process as the piece itself.”

“I always keep in mind that Mother Nature is the ultimate artist and I only seek to explore and reveal her innate beauty. Whether it is stone or wood I try to maximize the natural beauty that is locked in every piece or wood or stone.”

“I hope you enjoy these pieces as much as I did creating them.”
     — Skip Bellock

View Skip Bellock’s Work…

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