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Josh Stout

I am a biologist, and began carving jade as a way to express the beauty of the forms I see in nature. Natural forms carved in immutable stone transcend the moment. Before becoming a scientist, I studied philosophy, where I learned to seek the essential characters of things. As a philosopher I studied aesthetics, and as a biologist I teach the diversity of the natural world. My work unites these domains. I am self-taught, and try to learn from the jade itself, and by collecting the stone carvings of ancient civilizations. Beginning with small pieces, I have studied the interplay of cause and effect between the object I carve, and the idea I am trying to convey. As have gained experience, I have moved to more powerful tools and larger pieces of jade.

I look for expressions of flow and form in mythology and the natural world. The most durable of stones, jade cannot be worked with a chisel, but must be laboriously ground to shape and polished. The result is liquid flowing shapes that will endure for thousands of years. I take comfort knowing that what seems like a never-ending existential crisis for our world is but a moment in the flow of history, and that my work will transcend the tumult of today. I find inspiration in the hardstone carvings of prior civilizations and see that the stones will last for millenia.

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