Meeting with French stone sculptor Laura Puente Garcia
Meeting Laura was a real pleasure. Sculptor, sometimes calligrapher... Let's talk about a little-known profession, where art and creation are the key words.
Can you tell us more about your love for stone?
My grandfather was a mason and I have for my part always loved stones, their mineral side, sometimes secret, but nevertheless so endearing. As a child, I wanted to be a palaeontologist. Then when I was 17, I learned that the profession of stone sculptor existed. I knew it was for me.
What studies led you to stone carving?
First of all, I started by a training in stone cutting and marble work, which included a one-year option in stone carving.... Then, at the end of the course, my teacher took some of the students to visit the Monastery of Solan where they needed an engraver. Most of the students didn't show, but I was won over!
What were your creations at the monastery, where you stayed later on as a resident?
I let myself be taken in by the peaceful and contemplative atmosphere of the monastic community. I worked on the frieze that is now at the entrance of the church and on some sculpted angels that you can see under the icons of the iconostasis... I even drew my first Archangel Michael. Life at the monastery gave me a the chance to have my very own workshop where I could work freely. I learned how to design Byzantine style works...
Do you have a favourite stone?
Well, the volcanic stone comes to mind... Granite would be my least favourite. I like soft and fine stones, easy to work with. I'm more used to limestone. Saint Maximin stone would be my favourite I guess, maybe together with the steatite. In the end, my favourite stone would be the semi-firm limestone.
A favourite theme?
All themes appeal to me, except perhaps abstract. Ornamental motifs are one of my favourite subjects, especially the one reminding plants and geometry.... I am also very fond of Byzantine art, which unites Greek and Roman influences in a way. My next project? A Way of the Cross for a Catholic church, the church of Saint-Pierre in Montreuil, near Paris...
Do you have special orders?
In general, my clients don't have any specific ideas. I give them advise. It's a multi-handed job.
What does stone carving offers you?
It gives me a free mind. It helps me to relax... Through each of my sculptures, I transmit my love of stone and I think that this is felt through the finished work.
Would you like to share an emotion, an anecdote?
I'm very proud of the representation of the hair on Gideon's sculpture. Also, as I am currently having some difficulty recreating the water on my new sculpture, I am taking this as a challenge. I'm practising recreating it on little rocks before taking the big step.