From Disney Animator to Stone Sculptor

You Won’t Believe the Magical Kingdom Sculptor Ellen Woodbury Creates

Ellen Woodbury One for All

Ellen Woodbury does her homework. She not only creates amazing works of art, she thoroughly researches her subjects to better understand them and therefore how to best portray them in her stone sculptures.

In her latest work, One for All, Woodbury discovers interesting facts about African Wild Dogs that influence her work. She writes on her blog about the dogs, their packs, and why they are endangered. She also includes information about the stones she’s chosen for the piece.

The stone is Portoro, an Italian decorative marble with the same black, white, and gold coloring as the African Wild Dog. Each block of Portoro has different color patterns just as each wild dog has distinctive markings, making it the perfect stone for this gorgeous animal.

This type of marble is difficult to carve and is more commonly used as architectural decoration rather than sculptures. These decorative marbles take great skill and patience.

The stone has gold veins running through the deep black. The gold is soft and the black is brittle.

I have carved many kinds of decorative marble into animal sculptures and then vowed I would never carve that stone again because it is so labor-intensive. Such was the case with Portoro, but I simply can’t resist the color and end up carving it every several years. Passion drives my work. I was captivated by the African Wild Dog and had to make this. …One sheds blood in the carving of Portoro for a glorious resolution.

Ellen writes poetically about her experiences with the stones, and any stone sculptor can learn from reading her blog as she shares tools and techniques freely.

From this rough block…

Ellen Woodbury_Portoro Marble

With One for All, Ellen has used a grinder to create a wonderful piece that shows a running dog and typical plant life on one side.

To this…

Ellen Woodbury One for All 2nd Refining Stage

To this fine finish…

Ellen varies the degree of polishing to achieve different values and create contrast.On the reverse, she shows her dog’s pack as they run together…perhaps after prey, or perhaps away from those who would prey upon them.

Ellen Woodbury One for All

Thanks to Ellen Woodbury for sharing her talents with us. Read more about Ellen and her work on her blog.

Read the complete story of One For All

One For All

Portoro Marble on Granite
14 x 22 x 7 inches
Photo by Mel Schockner
© Ellen Woodbury

Photos of the finished sculpture by Mel Schockner.