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Morgan County artist to travel to Greece to study sculpting

June 17, 2008|By TRISH RUDDER

BERKELEY SPRINGS, W.Va. - Working with stone has been his passion, and when the opportunity came to study stone carving at a famous studio in Greece, Lee Barron knew he had to attend.

"It became a passion and I began to pursue more information," said Barron, a local jewelry maker.

He applied for the three-week course, was accepted and, in September, will study stone carving at the Dellatolas Marble Sculpture Studio on the Greek Island of Tinos.

"I love stones," he said. "I started out West at a rock and gem show in Arizona. That's where I learned how to shape and cut stones. I love to reveal beauty," Barron said.

The former automobile mechanic is originally from Hagerstown and has been a jewelry maker for about six years.

In making carved art pieces from stone, he said he is moving into three-dimensional rather than two-dimensional art, and he looks forward to learning the techniques in direct and indirect carving in Greece.

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"Mother points and master lines, which can be used as a map, are used in direct carving," he said. With indirect carving, Barron will be working with a solid piece of stone with no model.

"I want to work with larger pieces of stone," he said. "I want to learn from the best in the world where it originated."

A local client, Beth Rapps, wanted to help Barron get to the studio and helped him raise money for the trip.

"Lee sees the spirit in stone, and I feel it was important for the whole community for him to get to Greece," Rapps said.

Jeanne Mozier, a board member of the Morgan Arts Council, provides free training to local artists so they can apply for a West Virginia grant. Mozier helped him find a possible grant, and Barron applied for assistance.

"I think Lee is remarkably skilled," Mozier said. "He has a creative and practical skill. What is most impressive is the progression from being a first-rate automotive mechanic to being a first-rate stone carver and jewelry maker."

Barron is looking forward to learning how to stone carve with a hammer and chisel and power tools. He wants to carve sculptures for public and private use.

Barron said he wants to work with indoor and outdoor sculptures in limestone, granite, sandstone and marble. He is carving a stone memorial for a local client.

"I am on a mission to find beauty on the outside and from within myself, and if I inspire someone to find beauty, that's even better," Barron said.

"Art is the glue that holds us together. It's the best way I have learned to give back," he said.

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