The Stone Carvers
"The film transcends the building and locale to explore the human experience of work."
"A lovely artistic creation, as well as a solid ethnographic record. The viewer is able to get the distinct flavor of the work of stone carving and the love the traditional carvers held for their craft."
The Stone Carvers captures the work and infectious spirit of a small group of Italian-American artisans who have spent their lives carving designs on the Washington Cathedral, a gothic monument begun in 1907.
Most American workers make a product and never see it again, but the stone carvers can point to their work with pride. Fine ornamental stone carving has been a respected tradition for generations of Italian craftsmen. Only a few practitioners of this delicate and demanding art remain active today. While the world and architectural styles have changed around them, they have preserved an artistic and cultural heritage that has enriched centuries of Western Civilization.
The Stone Carvers focuses on an informal reunion of carvers now retired from the cathedral job. Sharing food and friendship, they relate memories of their own apprenticeships to the great masters of Italy. These men personify the timeless dignity, humor and strength of good craftsmanship and their work stands as a monument to their great craft. As master carver Vincent Palumbo says, "It's not work, it's a way of living." Anyone who has ever stopped to ponder the grace of a stone statue or the humor of a gargoyle will delight in how the stone carvers bring inanimate rock to life.
The Stone Carvers was produced by Marjorie Hunt and Paul Wagner. For information about Marjorie Hunt’s book about the Stone Carvers, click here.