2017 Canadian Stone Carving Festival Preview
As part of the celebration surrounding Canada’s 150th anniversary of Confederation, the Canadian Stone Carving Festival will take place in Ottawa from July 21-23. Indiana Limestone Company is a proud sponsor of the annual, money-raising, three-day carving event.
Founded in 2010 and modeled after European festivals, carvers from all levels of experience converge and have three days to complete works of art using only hand tools. At the end of the weekend, all of the artwork will be auctioned off to raise money for Ottawa Innercity Ministries.
“We wanted to build a fellowship among carvers and craftsmen,” Founder Danny Barber says. “There’s such a strong craft fellowship in Europe and we wanted to create that in North America.”
“It’s a fun challenge and puts a bit of pressure on you as an artist,” Barber explains. “We pride ourselves on using traditional tools and techniques. All of the cathedral shops in Europe do everything by hand.”
Barber says Indiana Limestone has been a part of the festival since its inception. “It’s medium-hard, so it’s possible to do a nice carving in a short amount of time,” he says. “There are softer stones, but they have to be shipped from Europe. Indiana Limestone’s proximity to us geographically means it saves us money on shipping costs.”
Barber says he loves watching the first-timers come and get to work right away on their craft. “It’s very moving,” he says. “It can be really intimidating. I’m proud it’s a festival and not a competition.”