jon decelles - sculptor
Jon’s first sculpture began with a small piece of alabaster that was given to him. All he had to carve with was an old steak knife, which he used to craft a small head. Carving the eyes, nose and mouth inspired him so much that he immediately enrolled in a sculpting class. And, as they say, the rest is history.
In the 30+ years since that first carving, Jon has followed the natural progression of stone carvers, going from soft to hard stone, from definitive to abstract designs, from large pieces weighing over 1500 pounds to a small lapis stick man under one inch in height.
Over time Jon has carved soapstone, alabaster, limestone, marble and granite. He has hand quarried stone in New Mexico and Utah. He selects rough stone at quarries and also purchases imported stone. His current favorite stone is black Belgian marble. It is very hard, it lasts indefinitely inside or out and takes a mirror fine finish that involves the viewer by reflecting their image.
Jon uses an air hammer. He also has a diamond chainsaw and relies on the standard sculpting tools; hammers, chisels, rasps, files and piles and piles of sandpaper, to release the figure from within the stone. First doing many drawings on paper, he then sculpts the contour lines of the stone to express movement.
Jon’s use of line gives some of his carvings the appearance of the stone being stretched over an underlying figure. Many of Jon’s carvings are deliberately carved thin to reveal the translucence and/or transparency of the stone. When stationed in front of a light source, the Sun for example, these sculptures beam with radiance.
His sculptures are so inviting, one wants to reach out and touch the cool stone, to feel the smooth textures and rippled caverns that move the eye and animate the stone. His intention is that his sculptures bring a moment of thoughtful peace and reflection to the viewer.