Etching: The Timeless Art of Richard Bulman
Stone has a timeless quality to it that many people find
not only interesting, but compelling as well. Stone
is an art
form that puts shapes and figures into a surface that
will last the ages. This combining of art with stone
isn't anything new; cultures have been doing it for
centuries. It is really as old as art itself. Whether it
be ancient Greek sculptures, Byzantine relics, Chinese
engravings, or Olmec figures, stone is the medium of
choice for many societies around the globe. When canvas,
wood, plastics, and other perishable materials have long
since departed, the works in stone will likely remain.
The timelessness of stone etching is probably one of the
biggest reasons artists are drawn to it. But there are
other reasons as well. In a recent conversation with
artist Richard Bulman, of Bellingham, Washington, I
learned that he prefers to work in stone because of its
natural and varied surface. The textures and shapes in
each stone surface are unique. Once the stone "speaks"
to him, he commits to the figure or picture he has in
mind, (or the one that reveals itself to him), to the
surface. By etching along a natural line in the stone,
or by shading here and there, he draws an image out of
the stone, often with striking results.
I suppose there is a comfort in working with stone
material, rather than forcing one's will upon it. Taking
this gentler, more subtle approach elevates stone
etching into a true art form. Anyone can grab a chisel
and start hacking away at a rock. Even computerized sand
blasting equipment or water jets are employed to etch in
stone. But there is something unique and special about
taking the personal and hands-on approach that Bulman
Being able to connect with the stone and really look at
it allows the artist to discover its unique beauties and
potential. Bulman is not frustrated if a certain piece
of stone doesn't reveal itself to him immediately.
Instead, he is content to set it aside and come back to
it another day. Eventually, the stone will reveal its
secrets and a stone etching can commence.
Bulman works primarily in slate. This is a permanent
surface for his stone etching, and one that he prefers.
I was especially struck with the way he elevates the
human form by tastefully depicting it in his art. This
does credit to not only our common humanity, but to the
sensitivity and passion of this particular artist. Our
society has become very good at debasing and
objectifying the human body. Rather than going that
route, Bulman skillfully etches each figure with love
and skill. You can tell from each etching he does, that
he really cares about his work.
My particular favorite Bulman stone etching piece is
Atlas 1. This shows the classic male figure supporting a
large round world on his left shoulder. It is a
depiction of idealized perfection that captures the
essence of my own vanity I suppose. The impact that the
strength and power of the figure itself portrays, is
second only to the way Bulman brings out the detail,
depth, lighting, and presence of the slate itself. It is
impressive to say the least, and I am glad it will be
You can see the timelessness and details of a Bulman
stone etching at Fairhaven Originals Gallery (FOG).
Choosing a Funeral Poem
By Thomas Alan Lampsen
A funeral poem can be an ideal part of a meaningful
memorial. Poetry has a wonderful way of communicating
our deepest and most heartfelt feelings, making it ideal
as a remembrance for a loved one. Choosing a funeral
poem, however, can be challenging.
Most of us are not students of poetry. We don't spend
our days studying free verse or iambic pentameter. We
know that poetry speaks to us in times of great emotion
and we know that it can uniquely encapsulate the
sentiments of the human soul, but we don't know where to
find the right words or how to really judge their
ability to communicate to others.
Choosing the perfect memorial verse if further
complicated by the nature of our mourning process. Our
culture moves quickly when it comes to mourning and
memorials. We're often rushed, fighting impossible
schedules as we prepare a loved one's funeral services.
The idea of poring over books of poetry at a time like
that may seem to be nothing short of impossible.
Fortunately, we don't need to be experts on the art of
poetry to select a perfect funeral poem and we don't
need to spend hour after hour trying to find those right
words. We can rely on carefully assembled compilations
of classic poetry. These volumes were painstakingly
arranged to assist those looking for a perfect funeral
poem. Some are even available on the Internet for
instant download and review, making the process of
finding great poetry for such an important occasion much
If you know you want to feature a funeral poem in a
memorial, don't be dissuaded by your lack of expertise
in poetry. Don't let the stressful and limited schedule
of the days preceding a survey stand in your way,
either. You can find the right words.
I offer my sincerest condolences for your loss and wish
you the best as you prepare a meaningful memorial for
your loved one.
Thomas Alan Lampsen maintains Funeral Poems and
Eulogies, where you can find wonderful funeral poems and
You can find the right words. Visit Thomas' website for
free funeral poems and resources to help you create a