Frederic Chevarin - Movements in Stone


Frederic ChevarinI am a mainly self-taught stone sculptor of French origin, I have also learnt from stonecutters and sculptors alike, both in France and Italy. In 2008, I was elected an associate of the Royal British Society of Sculptors (RBS), which allowed me to do a mentoring scheme with Helaine Blumenfeld FRBS.

I started sculpting when I was still young by working with wood; however, my artistic development has been gradual because of the difficulty in finding a good teacher, suitable tools and raw materials. At the age of 25, during a training session at a stonecutter’s workshop I learnt how to work with limestone (Caen Stone). During the following years my work as a site engineer meant living between England, Ireland and Italy. Whilst on holiday in France at a second training session with the stonecutter, I learnt patience and tenacity. I took advantage of this relatively quiet period to study the history of art, and, above all through books, museum visits and personal contact with sculptors. I was particularly influenced by a well known Italian sculptor, Vasco Montecchi who showed me the way to animate and sculpt marble.

Another great master has also enlightened me, the 92 year old sculptor and magician Gigi Guadagnucci. During my two privileged meetings with him he has taught me so much by simply allowing me to talk to him and admire his work. He is a great inspiration to me since his sculptures show infinite refinement and elegance.

The theme central to my research is movement. The ability to animate stone, marble and wood is almost an obsession for me. I love to create movement which is projecting forward, forcing the material to show that a transition between two states is taking place. Movement is not simply movement: it is at the same time velocity. Incorporating velocity into a piece is very exciting since a line can make the sculpture move very fast or alternatively a different line will convey only a slow motion. This is the foundation of my research, many sculptures only convey passive state, immobility. I want the velocities of my work to change, this way the perception of the work in space is different, exciting and interesting. If the state of the piece is fixed there is no extension of the material into space, it simple stops where the sculpture ends. If, on the contrary there is movement the dimension of the piece is projected into space and creates the impression that it continues along its course.

Basically, my research is about finding happiness and hope by carving ideas inspired by nature. The thinness of my sculptures creates a paradox between the apparent lightness of the material and its weight. I want it to appear light so that we can see it flying, emerging from the world of matter to that of refinement and elegance. This is quite difficult because of the constraint the material imposes on the sculptor, this can only be overcome by patience and being able to accept failure if the marble breaks when it becomes too thin. With experience and knowledge it will become possible to achieve my aim however I still have a lot to learn before I can hope to emulate my masters.

By expressing freely my feelings through my creations, I try to answer humankind’s quest about the meaning of being and feeling. To anyone who can read these signs in nature’s beauty, my sculptures are an echo, which can lift up the spirit and bring lightness from solid matter, making each sculpture a testimony of a personal research and not the result of a heartless production process.

My latest discovery has been the encounter with alabaster. Such translucent material is a fantastic material which gives a 4th dimension to any sculpture because it allows light to play a vital role in the way someone can perceive a work of art. Most sculptures, especially in stone look very similar in a morning sunlight or in an evening light. But alabaster changes colour depending on its thickness, its density, its colour or even with the type of light which is directed to it. And this is an unexpected property for most of my clients who discover that an alabaster sculpture is best placed on a window sill so that the sunlight can play a fundamental role, creating life from light, because light changes in the course of a day. Artificial light doesn’t change, it is cold although natural light has moods, and that effect transforms a still stone sculpture into a living sculpture.

Finally, my indirect intention is to get inspired by any form of life and to transmit that inspiration to others. Many people have already thanked me to have inspired them with my sculptures, not necessarily because my pieces were pleasing to them, but mainly because, the sculptures have allowed their imagination to go further, to be inspired by a form or a movement. To me, it is a great reward because it gives another dimension to my pieces. Not only they are liked, they also project ideas far beyond my own reach. And that is a very powerful shared pleasure.

Alternatively, have a look at all my videos published on, hopefully they will help you to start with. My videos are about carving a project from start to finish. Also it will show you how to move your sculpture in the workshop and how to set up the piece. Another video featuring ‘A little man’ made of marble chippings will hopefully make you smile. Have a look at them, search for my name on or go to the Video section of this website for more information.

All Sculptures Copyright © 2002 - 2011 Frederic Chevarin. All rights reserved