This past weekend I got to try my hand at stone carving. It reaffirmed my belief that one of the most powerful research methods in historical craft is the hands-on approach. It is amazing how much a you can learn just by trying your hand at making a quilt, building a banjo or baking bread.
Learning by doing is a fun and informative approach to material culture scholarship. I have long been interested in stone carving, but had never tried it until stone carver Amy Biers let me try my hand at it, while we were working at a festival. I quickly realized that my notions of this craft were totally wrong. I had been thinking of it as being similar to woodcarving, which I have done, but boy was I wrong. I was instantly humbled. I am planning on trying to attend the Limestone Symposium this Spring and learn some more about this incredible craft. Thanks to Hannah Davis for taking these pictures.