Make Your Stone Sing


Last week I was captivated by the months of artistry involved in making a Michael Greenfield guitar. This week I saw a guitar solo by Justin Johnson performed on a shovel.

If you want to be mesmerized, watch the Blue Man Group’s Tiny Desk Concert at NPR. Then spend some time studying an artist named Pinuccio Sciola whose sculptures sing if you touch the stone in a certain way.

Don’t these artists represent the extremes of different creative approaches?

Which type of artist are you most like?

Since my dad is a sculptor, I asked what he thought of Sciola’s singing stones. He told me,

“Most sculptors will tap the stone to hear if it is solid and without fractures. A nice solid stone will make a very beautiful clear sound. If there are unseen fractures anywhere in the stone it will sound dull.”

I really like the idea of tapping on your work to measure integrity. Is there quality beneath the veneer?

This more than anything is the difference between art and the ordinary. If you rush through the creation process you might as well be manufacturing shovels. If your skills aren’t sharp you might as well be banging on a spade. You can trowel on the makeup, but if you can’t improvise you’re nothing more than a blue clown. If you spackle over hidden cracks, you will never be able to make your stone sing. There are no shortcuts.


Thanks for reading. Every week I present an idea for you tap on. If the sound of this one rang true, consider following me. Stay creative.


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