Laura Travis carves limestone, soapstone and creates assemblage (pretty much all from recycled materials) in a mill studio at 30 Cutler Street in Warren, RI. Recently she's revived an older interest in weaving traditional Irish crios belts and continues to make folk art with her Brigid Crosses.
She studied at RIC and at Maryland Institute College of Art, where she completed her MFA in 2001 on a fellowship while working full time as a visual art educator in Providence Public Schools.
She was a studio resident at A220, Providence's remarkable downtown arts matrix, for eight years, showing several times in their galleries, as well as in New Bedford, Baltimore, Ontario, and in a sculpture garden she collaborated to create with the Blackstone River Theatre in Cumberland, RI. Her work in stone is featured there, at the South Kingstown Land Trust Sculpture Trail, and along the South County Bike Path.
A veteran organizer and award winning art teacher, Laura hosts workshops and classes in stone carving at RISD- CE, in her studio, and on the road as far afield as western Ontario. Laura’s work has been documented by NetWorks RI in 2011, and was featured in three NetWorks exhibitions.
Pursuing inquiries at points along the border of fine and folk art, she’s currently absorbed in a body of work inspired by recent trips to the British Museum and the National Museum of Scotland. Laura, now retired from full time public school teaching, finds time to help organize open houses and studio sales at 30 Cutler Street. You can find her traditional art weavings at Crios/Cross on Etsy.
Learn to carve stone
Relief carving or carving in a softer material like soapstone are effective ways to explore the tools and possibilities of stone carving. I have years of background in teaching the basics to beginners from age 13 to senior citizens. Many visual references assist the process. Included will be plenty of stone lore, tips for scrounging up materials, and techniques including polishing and finishing. Stonecarving is one of humanity’s most intrinsically satisfying arts, a timeless skill to be acquired with pride. You’re bound to take a real sense of accomplishment away from one of these classes. Students should be able to finish a sample and a larger carving in a one week class, or two small carvings in one weekend. Soapstone carving in the round is also available at some of the classes.
There are many ways to organize a wonderful experience carving stone in a workshop or class for a group small or large. I am a veteran, credentialed teacher of Visual Art, listed on the Rhode Island State Council of the Arts Education Artist Roster, and have designed programs in stone carving for summer camps, school age children from age 10 up, and adults in a wide range of settings. Programs designed and implemented with Rhode Island teachers, schools, and community organizations may be eliglible for funding through RISCA. Feel free to contact me with your ideas for a class or workshop in locations around New England or further afield.