Updated: Mar 1, 2020
Winter is a difficult time for a stonemason, as it is often to cold or wet to work. At this time of year you will find many twitchy stonemasons bundled up in their homes or studios like children waiting for the rain to stop so that they can go back out and play. This is, however, a great time to get inspired and conjure up interesting projects for the spring.
This is exactly what Vermont sculptor and stonemason Chris Miller did.
Inspired by this stone VW beetle built in a field close to Ithaca New York in 1976, Chris dreamed up his own little art project. In the same spirit as the stone VW installation, Chris wanted to create a permanent installation that would both generate curiosity and inspire passers by. Having always been drawn to the relics of past industry, Chris noted that every little town in Vermont is blessed with rusty old farm trucks, abandoned and overgrown right where they came to rest. A stone truck would surely make a fitting tribute to these relics of past industry.
So now the concept was set, all he needed was the finances to build it. Most stonemasons and wallers are all very creative and artistic people, the only thing that suppresses their creativity and ability to create wonderful pieces of art is getting the opportunity from a client to build something a little different. Getting a client who is willing to give you full artistic licence is a wonderful but sadly rare thing, so the creation of websites like fundit and kickstarter have done wonders for creativity and art. Basically these websites provide a platform for people with great ideas to attract funding from friends, fans and followers across the world. People interested in funding a creative concept ‘pledge’ anything from as little as $1 towards a project. The great thing about this system is that when pledging a donation, no money is taken unless the full funding goal amount is reached.
In March of this year Chris Miller set up a kickstarter page in hope of funding his stone truck project. With a modest funding goal of $2,500, Chris put out the call for funders. And to his delight a total of 85 ‘stone mad’ art lovers from many different corners of the world backed the project. This meant that Chris could finally get cracking on the project, so in early May, he eagerly got to work.
So five weeks later the Stone Truck project was completed and ready to be discovered by passers by, hopefully filling them with intrigue and wonder for years to come.
A very interesting 3 minute stop motion movie of the construction.
Be sure to check out Chris’ website http://chrismillerstudio.com/ to see more of his wonderful stonework and sculptures. Two of my personal favourite pieces of his work are below.
Hopefully this post inspires you to go out and create your own piece of stone art, or better still, inspires you to contact your local stonemason or dry-stone waller to commission your very own piece of art. I know for sure they are eagerly awaiting your call.