[Borsheim Arts Studio]

Return to
Newsletter Table of Contents

Borsheim Art Newsletter:

by Kelly Borsheim copyright 8 September 2016

  1. New Bronze Garden Sculpture: Rock Towers and Frogs
  2. Sculturi in Cava: Pinocchio in Stone
  3. ‘My Venus’ Marble Sculpture by Vasily Fedorouk
  4. Blog Highlights: Cava Nardini, Tuscany
  5. Subscription Info.

Subscribe to Borsheim Art News
[6-8x per year; your info. never shared]:
Your Name:
Your E-mail:

[pietra serena stone awaits carving]

Stones Await the Sculptors to Carve
Vellano, Tuscany, Italy

[rock tower, frogs, and foliage garden fountain bronze sculpture]

Cattails and Frog Legs,
bronze sculpture
limited edition of 99
19" h x 7" w x 6" d
© 2007 Kelly Borsheim

Dear Art Lover,

Rock towers have fascinated me since I first went to Hawai’i to visit my brother back in the 1990s and saw craggy lava stones piled into towering formations along the beaches. Balance exercises and not using any sort of glue or mortar to construct things seem an intellectual challenge. Successfully balanced forms are lovely.

So, when I received an inquiry earlier this year to enlarge and expand on my original sculpture Cattails and Frog Legs, my mind returned to Hawai’i. I was lucky to have the perfect clients, in that they trust me to create something pleasing and lasting and for a fair price. I listened to their desires and concerns and sent them two sketches. This is the one they chose and they will have the first bronze, which is in-progress in an Italian foundry as I write.

Since I normally offer a “pre-casting savings” for new bronze sculptures, I will do the same for this one. Price for new bronze fountain Rock Towers and Frogs: $14,400 [after 1 November 2016]… NOW offering a 10% savings if order before November 1, 2016, before it becomes a bronze …
$12,960 is the PRE-Bronze Sale Price [deposit required, contact studio for details, please]

For more images of this sculpture, please visit:


If you would like to view or acquire the smaller original composition (only $1500), check out this page:

Buy Art

[rock tower, frogs, and foliage garden fountain bronze sculpture]

Rock Towers and Frogs
bronze fountain sculpture
approx. 43" h x 24" w x 24" d [110 x 60 x 60 cm]
© 2016 Kelly Borsheim

[taking sculpture to bronze foundry in Italy] [last touches on clay sculpture at the bronze foundry]

Above left: Moving the clay sculpture into the bronze foundry, Italy; Right: Kelly puts finishing touches before mold-making. [Photo by Nori Matteucci]

Sculturi in Cava: Pinocchio in Stone

Three years ago, I met sculptor Silvio Viola while I was chatting with other stone carvers at an exhibition. After seeing a picture of my “Gymnast” sculpture that I usually have with me at all times, he invited me to participate in his symposium in Castelvecchio, Tuscany, Italy.

This year, Silvio organized another symposium, this time in nearby Vellano. It was held at Cava Nardini (‘cava’ is Italian for ‘quarry’). I knew Marco Nardini from my first symposium, since he supplied the pietra serena grayish sandstone that we carved. It was great working directly in the stone quarry. None of the neighbors complained of dust or noise and we had access to more tools and services than one can get easily off a work-site. And the daily views were wonderful up in the mountains.

We had a total of 9 artists participating although Vincenzo Crieco and Elisa Sordelli joined us after the publicity poster was printed. Other participating sculptors are Massimo Villani, Kumiko Suzuki, Roberto Politano, Mariano Guerrieri, Simone Azzurrini, Silvio, and me. You may remember Kumiko from several other newsletters. She and I have been friends since we met as madonnare (street painters) in Florence, Italy, back in 2009.

The symposium was held 4-14 July. I had been working on the above garden sculpture while I was thinking of a design for this symposium. The theme was Pinocchio’s story. This is natural, I suppose, since this valley called Valleriana is not far from Collodi, the village in Tuscany where the story of Pinocchio is based. Because of my never-healing knee injury and the short time frame, I came up with a design of Pinocchio riding the dove as a bas-relief, emerging from a large book. I was not actually sure if I would be able to stand long. The desired dimensions for my stone were sent to Silvio and Marco, while I continued to work on Rock Towers and Frogs.

However, when I arrived on Day 1 of the symposium and studied my stone, I found two cracks and asked Marco and his father Germano (who resurrected this quarry decades ago) to come have a look and let me know their thoughts about how deep it ran. We decided that my book idea would not work (unless much smaller, of course). So, I thought for a bit and decided to do a vertical sculpture of the same subject and started drawing on the stone. I really enjoy direct carving, but then, I have never learned the point-up system for copying a composition in clay (or other material) into stone.

The cracks determined some basic things in the design, but you will also see in the photos below that I later found another as I began to shape the head of the bird. That was a bummer, but I was lucky that it was not worse. My design was too complicated for a 10-day event, but then I keep changing my mind a bit. For example, days into it, I decided to change from a high relief to a work in the round.

This was the first time I had assistance on my stone carvings. Giuliano is a local wall builder and has created many of the homes in the valley. He was around for the first half of the symposium. I would score what I wanted to cut off and then he would take hammer and chisel to remove stone for me. It allowed me to take a break to drink water or ice my knee or just stand in the shadows from a distance to evaluate my composition while material was being removed.

Marco may be the most generous carver I know when it comes to sharing tools. This was a huge help to me since so many of my stone-carving tools are still in Texas. And he has specialty tools I do not own at all anywhere, such as the diamond bit for coring holes in stone. As the larger chunks of stone fell away, there was less for others to do since I was shaping and making design decisions as I worked the stone myself. But then, I have always preferred to be a hands-on artist myself.

I hope that you enjoy scrolling through these images. The images of my final stone sculpture will be shared in the next newsletter.

Thank you for your continued interest in art and stone carving!
~ Kelly Borsheim

[There once was a piece of wood . . .]
The text in Italian says, "There once was a piece of wood . . . "
Stone Sculpture [Detail] By Mariano Guerrieri

[Beautiful Vellano, Italy, in the morning]
Beautiful Vellano, Italy, in Tuscany

[Beautiful Vellano, Italy, in the morning]

[stone carving pietra serena Italy]
My stone (pietra serena) at the start.

[sculptor and quarry owner - a legend]
Kelly with 83-year-old Germano Nardini, quarry owner with his son Marco

[Vespa collector item motorcyle scooter]
Purely Italian . . . lovely color Vespa!

[Marco Nardini teaches sculptor how to make traditional paper hat]
Marco Nardini teaches me how to make traditional paper hat to keep the dust off.

[There once was a piece of wood . . .]
One of quarryman Marco's tools for removing lots of stone.

[flying bird shape in the clouds over the quarry]
Inspiration for my theme of flight was everywhere!

[pins and feathers inserted into holes to split the stone]
Pins and Feathers are inserted into drilled holes in the stone in order to split it.

[Stone being split]
Stone splitting

[Mayor of Pescia pretends to be an artist]
The Mayor of Pescia, Oreste Giurlani, poses with my sculpture.

[Pescia mayor poses with symposium sculpture]
The Mayor of Pescia poses with some of the symposium sculptors.

[press giornale news article about Vellano stone carving symposium Cava Nardini]
Some of the press we received for the stone carving symposium.
Right: So excited to see my marble carving Gymnast in an Italian newspaper,
as they wrote about the international status of the symposium.

[Gymnast marble sculpture makes Italian news]

[Symposium dinner Vellano Circolo Italy Italia]
It would not be a stone-carving symposium without lots of shared meals and fun.

[lifting stone for better safer posture]
Marco Nardini uses his quarry vehicle to lift up my stone at my request.
Silvo Viola assists on the ground. It is important to keep one's posture good, especially while using dangerous equipments (such as diamond blades spinning quickly].

[Nori takes a swing at the Pinocchio sulla Colomba stone carving sculpture]
My landlord took a turn at carving stone!

[Paul chips away at Pinocchio's dove stone sculpture]
My neighbor took a swing at the stone, too! What fun.

[Attending symposiums is a family affair]
It is always fun to see families enjoying the stone-carving process.

[Mother and Daughter carve stone]
Mother and daughter create art together.

[Introducing children to stone carving]
Introducing children to art is always a pleasure.

[Sculpting stone in Vellano, Tuscany, Italy]
And yes, I do actually work on my own stone carving! :-D

[Vellano Museum about stone quarry work and workers tools]
We enjoyed a trip to Vellano's quarryman's museum, looking at old,
but still functional tools of the stone trade.

[sculptor group in front of quarry museum, Vellano]
Publio Biagini (squatting in front) generously gave us a tour of his
fascination collection of stone carving tools, stone, and history of Vellano.

[Marco teaches how to strike a stone]
Marco teaches a young girl how to use a hammer and chisel.

[girl carving stone Italy]
Another young girl chisels away.

[Church bell tower, Vellano Tuscany Italy]
Beautiful Vellano, the church bell tower

[Beautiful Vellano, Italy, in the evening with moon]
The moon over Vellano, Tuscany, Italy

[TWO assistants Marco e Giuliano]
Strange to have two assistants, but my still-injured knee and I were
grateful (I actually had a lot of hands on this piece as I let almost everyone have a swing.)

[Marco slices stone in his quarry]
Marco Nardini slices stone for Elisa in his quarry.
It is wonderful to carve in such a place, dust, noise, great tools!

[Direct carving of stone Pinocchio]
Early-on drawing on the stone for direct carving.
Pinocchio in red wax; the dove in yellow.

[crack in the stone loses a huge chunk of dove face]
I found another crack in the stone. It was on one side of the dove's head.
You may see on the right side how much was lost. Time to redesign!

[bird's eye view of sculpture with a before and after, but still not finished with the stone carving]
Process images: I often feel the bird's eye view tells more information than the views more likely to be seen.

[Marco lifts a young boy up to carve a stone wing]
Marco lifts a young boy to carve a stone dove's wing.

[Silvio demonstrates how to hammer a chisel on stone]
Silvio demonstrates how to hammer a chisel on stone.

[stone quarry pietra serena for houses and sculpture]
Germano Nardini breaks stone into smaller pieces for building homes.

[View of Vallerian hills from stone quarry in Vellano]
Such beautiful views in the hills of Valleriana, Tuscany.

[Stone quarry owner Germano Nardini and Sculptor Kelly Borsheim]
Germano poses with me next to Pinocchio sulla Colomba ~ WIP

[diamond drill bit for holes in stone sculpture]
Diamond-tipped core drill bit to make holes in stone.

[More kids learn to carve stone]
More kids come to remove stone from the sculpture.

[Young girl uses a green stone to smooth the stone sculpture]
A young girl used a whirling green stone to smooth the stone sculpture.

The Sculptures of Pinocchio theme

[question mark benches or stone steps for Pinocchio's multiple decisions]
Mariano Guerrieri created a series of mosaic-decorated stone pieces that kids may either
sit on or jump from one to another. Shaped in the form of a question mark to
represent the multiple choices with which Pinocchio was presented.

[Simone Azzurrini sits at his carved bench of Pinocchio dreaming.]
Simone Azzurrini sits at his carved bench of Pinocchio dreaming.
The back side features another bench that is an inviting bed, with stone pillow and blanket.

[Elisa Sordelli poses with her curious Pinocchio.]
Elisa Sordelli poses with her curious Pinocchio, still a work-in-progress.

[Pinocchio sculptures by Massimo Villani and Elisa Sordelli]
Pinocchio sculptures by Massimo Villani and Elisa Sordelli

[Massimo Villani's sculpture references the bad children becoming donkeys.]
Massimo Villani's sculpture,
the largest single piece of stone at this symposium,
references the bad children becoming donkeys.

[Pinocchio by painter and ex-policeman Vincenzo Crieco]
Painter and ex-policeman Vincenzo Crieco,
who nicknamed me "Yankee,"
carved an abstract version of Pinocchio.

[Roberto Politano created a picture postcard in stone of Vellano Tuscany]
Roberto Politano created a "picture postcard"
bas-relief sculpture in stone of Vellano, Tuscany.

[Silvio Viola created a bench collection of the carabinieri (Italian police) and a seat for today's Pinocchios.]
Silvio Viola created a bench collection of the carabinieri
(Italian police) and a seat in the middle for today's Pinocchios.]"

[The Blue Fairy and Snail Sculpture Pinocchio by Kumiko Suzuki]
"The Blue Fairy and the Snail" sculpture - Pinocchio-themed
stone sculpture by Kumiko Suzuki

[The Blue Fairy and Snail Sculpture Pinocchio by Kumiko Suzuki]
The beautiful Kumiko Suzuki with her stone carving

[Pinocchio flies on the dove stone carving]
"Pinocchio sulla Colomba" stone WIP by Kelly Borsheim

[Pinocchio sulla Colomba stone carving symposium]
"Pinocchio Flies on the Dove," still a work-in-progress

[Symposium Award Dinner at Da Carla's restaurant in Castelvecchio Tuscany Italy]
Symposium Award Dinner at Da Carla's restaurant in Castelvecchio Tuscany Italy 2016 July 14
Squatting in front, left to right: Roberto Politano and Mariano Guerrieri;
Standing, l-r: Kelly Borsheim, Marco Nardini, Mayor of Pescia Oreste Giurlani, Silvio Viola, Kumiko Suzuki, and Simone Azzurrini (hunging the curtain);
behind Kumiko = Massimo Villani and (not very visible) Vincenzo Crieco. Not arrived yet: Elisa Sordelli

Marble Sculpture by Vasily Fedorouk

Featured in this newsletter is “My Venus” by my late mentor and friend Vasily Fedorouk. She is carved from marble and embellished with gold, one of his later pieces.
My Venus
36 x 6 x 5.5 inches
Marble with Gold
copyright 2007 Vasily Fedorouk

See more of his art online at:

There are a limited number of available works, but please inquire.

[Original marble sculpture enhanced by real gold by sculptor Vasily Fedorouk]
Marble with Gold

© Vasily Fedorouk

Recent Blog Topics: Cava Nardini, Tuscany

You may follow a variety of art topics on my blog, mostly travel and art:
(This is a different subscription list than the one for this art newsletter.)

Back to Top of Page


[August Art Auction]

Thank you for sharing this journey with me. Thank you for sharing this newsletter with your friends and colleagues. Thank you. Please let me know if you would like to commission an artwork.

Kelly Borsheim
6 September 2016

[Suspended Bridge, Tuscany, ponte sospeso]

Suspended bridge in Tuscany.

Sign-up to receive FREE e-news or printed mail.

Return to Read Other Newsletters - Table Of Contents Page

If you enjoy Borsheim Art News, please forward it to friends and colleagues. It comes to you about 6-8 times a year from Florence, Italy-based artist Kelly Borsheim.

Back to Top of Page

Give a Book Review:

Thank you for your interest and support in the book I wrote this past summer about being a street artist in Italy. I was thrilled to receive such glowing feedback about how I had shared not only the art and the artists, but also something of the political environment regarding street art, interaction with the public and other street performers (my favorite chapter is the one in which I have invited children to join me on the pavement), as well as images of the Renaissance City herself.

The book is titled "My Life as a Street Painter in Florence, Italy." If you have read the book and would like to help in the promotion of it, perhaps you would consider writing up a short review for Amazon.com (or even send me a testimonial for my own site). Your review does not have to be fancy. The intention is to help other people get a better idea about what is inside and whether or not they may enjoy the read.

Just click here. Scroll down to the section on Customer Reviews. Click on the button to the right that says, "Create your own review" Sign in and follow their guide.

or from Amazon.com:
Order from Amazon (US):
My Life as a Street Painter in Florence, Italy

If you have not gotten your copy of the book, you may order directly from my site:

[book street painting florence italy]
Above: Cover for book:
"My Life as a Street Painter in Florence, Italy"

by Kelly Borsheim

Order the book today
(Click on the image above.)

I have about 20 copies here with me in Italy, so if you are also here, just write me and we will organize the rest…

Home | Sculpture | Paintings/ 2-D / Murals | Photography | Exhibits | Process | Galleries | BLOG
Newsletter | Biography | Prints | Price List | Contact Artist

Copyright © 2016 Kelly Borsheim
All Rights Reserved