Gallery Home Blog Contact


I have moved far away from the SF Bay area, and no longer teach stone carving. But the class lives on, as my co-instructor is continuing to teach in the same place. All the information below is now about her class in San Jose, CA, and I encourage you to take it if you think you might enjoy the medium, or if you are a carver looking for a group to do some carving with, and get some support and camaraderie. Sue and her (formerly our) students are great, and I hope you join them.

Stone Carving Class Information

Sue Toorans teaches a stone carving class in downtown San Jose, and has been doing so since the fall of 1998, so it's been a while. Below is some more specific information, followed by a course overview and a materials list.

What: Stone Carving Class
Instructor: Sue Toorans
Sponsor: The School Of Visual Philosophy
Where: 425 Auzerais Ave, San Jose, CA 95126
When: Tuesday evenings, 7:30pm - 10pm
Cost: $300 for 12 sessions to be used within 6 months. That means you can miss a class meeting and still attend 12 total.

Course Overview

The class introduces students to the process of carving stone with hand tools. Beginners start with alabaster or soapstone - both fairly soft stones that can be easily carved. The instructor provides tools for beginners to use during the class and assists throughout the process. More advanced students are always welcome to take the class too. It provides a regular scheduled opportunity to work, get feedback from other artists, and a chance to both learn and share the knowledge you've acquired.

The class is very informal. The first session involves about 1 hour of lecture on tools, tool use & care, and shaping techniques. Students pick a stone from those available from the instructor (about $1.00 per pound) and begin working. Several sessions of shaping work follow. As students approach the start of polishing, a brief demonstration of polishing technique is given to aid in the process and then students are turned loose again. The instructor works one-on-one with students during the class as needed, and is readily available to answer questions about anything that comes up..

The class covers the following major points, though not necessarily in the order presented here.

Because stone carving with hand tools is a slow process, you can expect to spend a fair amount of time completing your first piece. Past experience says the quickest students will probably spend 4-6 weeks shaping their stone, 2-3 weeks polishing it, and one more evening signing and waxing it. However, these are just estimates (and optimistic ones at that) and may not apply to any given student. Some students complete their first stone in 4 or 5 weeks if they work at home. Others may take longer than 12 weeks just to get the stone shaped. The instructor will work with you individually as needed to guide you towards completion.

Materials List

Things to Bring to Class:

Other Things to Bring if You Have Them:

These are not required -- particularly for new students -- but people working on more advanced projects should bring them to class:

Other Things to Know:

You can use the "Contact" button above to send me questions about classes, materials, or related items, but you're better off reaching Sue directly. See the link above for her website.