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Loretta Kyle
Click Here or Photo to see Loretta Kyle's carvings


Loretta Kyle was born in Hemmingford Quebec and currently resides in Bonnyville,
Alberta.  Her background in biological sciences informs her intuitive response
to her materials: she has been scultping full time since 1997 and has exhibited
throughout Western Canada as well as Toronto.

"It is hard to say how long a piece takes. Some pieces are inspired and only take a
very short time and others I have to labour over. Sometimes I think about a piece
for a year before I start to carve the stone and sometimes I get stuck on a
problem half way through and have to leave it until I figure it out. So to answer
the question, it can take me anywhere from one day to two months to a year.
It all depends on the size and hardness of the stone, the depth of detail and
the artistic inspiration."

Click Here or Image to View Lorretta Kyle's Work

I have used different types of stone; Chlorite, Pyrophyllite, BC Soapstone,
Brazilian soapstone, African Kisii stone, and Quebec Serpentine. The soapstone
has a hardness of one on the Mohs scale and damages easily. I prefer to use
Kisii stone and serpentine. The Kisii stone has a hardness of only two but itís
fine grain takes detail very well. Serpentine has a hardness of three/four and
cannot be scratched by fingernails like soapstone can. I also like how this stone
has a fleshy appearance. The finer the grain of the serpentine the harder it is
and the better it is for fine detail.

I hope to try marble next. It has a hardness of four/five. Diamond has a hardness
of ten. I buy the stone from Bedrock Supply in Edmonton or get it shipped
from Neolithic Stone in Vancouver, British Columbia. It comes in cut blocks
or irregular chunks. I choose the stone for its colour and shape when I have a piece
in mind but for birds I buy random shapes and let the stone tell me what it is.
Sometimes a chunk of stone shows me the whole sculpture at once or I might only
see a neck or beak to start with and the rest of the piece reveals itself as I work.
There are times when I canít let the bird out of the stone fast enough.

The equipment that I use consists of an air compressor with a 90 gallon tank and
a seven horsepower motor, air chisel, die grinder, dremel, coarse and fine files,
wood carving knives, saws, and sand paper. I sand the stone with 80grit then
100 grit dry sand paper then use 220, 320, 400, and 600grit wet paper. When
all scratches are gone, I wax the piece (Kisii stone), oil it with tung oil and
then wax it (Brazilian soapstone and serpentine).  I have been sculpting since
1987, full time since 1997. I was given a piece of Jade jewelry when I was little
and I remember thinking, this is what I want to do when I grow up. Jade is
very hard and I would need different (costly) equipment than I have now but
itís on the wish/goal list.





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