In a small timber frame studio located in the mountains of Western North Carolina, stonecarver Collene Karcher stares at a block of marble.

She picks up a chisel and makes the first cut...

With over 20 years of experience sculpting in a variety of stone including marble, slate, and limestone, she is also one of only a handful of stonecarvers in the United States still practicing the nearly lost art of hand-carved letters in stone with hammer and chisel.

 

"As a sculptor living in these mountains, I've always been interested in and inspired by the work I saw in tiny local graveyards. I learn something new every time I run my hand over an old grave marker. I have always practiced letter carving alongside my three dimensional work and at some point it began to cross over--letter carving on sculpture, sculpture mixed in with letter carving."

Questioning the order of things and the establishment, Karcher discontinued exhibiting in art shows & galleries in 1994. Instead she opened her studio to the public, with the idea of being a local resource and providing a one on one experience between appreciators and collectors of fine art & the artist. A hermit at heart, her work echoes other contemporary folk artists existing & creating in the margins of our culture.

 

Since that initial opening 20 years ago, folks from around the country & the world have found their way to her studio, good conversations have ensued, and much has been learned on both sides with visitors often inclined to sit a spell.

 

Visit a working studio & gallery and receive a personal tour.

Touch some art.

Discover what's involved in the fine art of carving stone.

 

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Stone Crossing Studio & Gallery