The Birth of Wall Art

The wall art that artist Ron White creates continues to transform as the years pass. It is an ongoing effort to produce the finest quality work possible. There have been many different work environments and stages since the birth of Ronís stone carving. From working in a tarp covered awning on the back patio to the over 2,000 square feet of studio space he now works in has been a long and interesting journey.

Ron had collected pieces of stone and different types of sand from all over the southwest for years. He had always spent a lot of time in the outdoors and since childhood spent whatever free time he had camping, backpacking and rafting. In 1993 after having worked in management since high school and having just about every company he worked go out of business or leave the state Ron figured it was time to do his own thing. He had always been in awe and truly appreciative of the stone carvings left behind by the ancient ones. He had first started studying these carvings on an Outward Bound adventure through the Canyonlads of Utah that he was lucky enough to receive a scholarship for in 1976.

So he took a couple of his favorite things travel and art and combined them to create the perfect business. He took those pieces of stone he had collected and started carving on them in an awning covered with tarps on the back deck. Initially he was using carbide tips and chisels. This process was very dusty and he would go through burrs and chisels very quickly. The tarps barely block the wind and even in the summer when the sun goes down in the Rocky Mountains it gets quite chilly out. The wall art that he created during those first years had a distinctly rustic look and probably comes the closest to what you might find high on a canyon wall.

The debut of his art work was in a small art show at Rustic Hills Mall in 1993 and it was received with so much interest that he figured he should maybe set up some place to carve that was a little less drafty. He purchased is first 14 x 20 Coverit shelter in 1994 from a small shop just down the street, secondhand. The first unit had a dirt floor it was powered with extension cords and had no insulation or heat. It was however a big step up from shanty town on the back deck and did stop the wind. Ron also discovered that diamonds would cut right through the sandstone but you had to keep them wet or you would burn all the diamonds off your burrs and chisels. Bringing moisture into the process also had the added benefit of keeping the dust down.

Ron now has five different units each one dedicated to a specific step in his process. When called for the units are insulated and heated and powered through their own circuit breaker. In addition to the wonderful wall art he creates he has been the architect and contractor on all of his studios. As Ron vision grows so does his work space and it is always interesting to see what he will come up with next.

Ron White, stone carver and entrepreneur, has been carving stone since 1993, and is shown in more than 40 galleries across the US. Prior to beginning his work with stone carving Ron has worked extensively with leather, wood cabinetry and even jewelry. Learn more about Ron White and his work at http://www.derivedfromnature.com.

This article was published on Saturday 20 November, 2010.
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