Michael Binkley was invited as an instructor at an NWSSA Symposium

Michael was an instructor at the Northwest Stone Sculptors Association (NWSSA) annual International Symposium at Suttle Lake, OR, USA. The event was held August 24 – 30, 2015 at the beautiful setting of Suttle Lake in southeastern Oregon, USA.

michael binkley sculptor sculpture vancouver canada northwest sculptors association suttle lake oregon usa

NWSSA symposiums are truly unique events. Unlike hundreds of others around the world that are exclusive and competitive, the NWSSA organizes their events to be completely inclusive and are limited only in the facility capacity. In other words, anyone can participate – from novices to professional artists.

The usual drill is for participants to bring their own shelter and work table, although there is a large group shelter for those who have little to no equipment. Participants shelters are arranged around a work field, so everyone can access the electric generators and air compressors. Thankfully, this symposium enjoyed fine sunny weather for the week.

michael binkley sculptor sculpture vancouver canada northwest sculptors association suttle lake oregon usa

These photos are of the group tent usually designated for hand tool instruction and work. However, almost without fail, once a novice has been introduced to power tools, hand tolls are quickly discarded! Safety is paramount, so detailed instruction on the use of all tools, whether hand or power is covered extensively.

NWSSA symposiums encourage interaction between participants, so information, work and life experiences are shared in an inclusive, non-threatening environment. There is always an excellent balance between individual work and camaraderie.

michael binkley sculptor sculpture vancouver canada northwest sculptors association suttle lake oregon usa

The Suttle Lake symposium had several evening lectures and workshops. Binkley was asked to give a presentation of his experience at the Changsha International Sculpture Arts Festival 2014. Pictured here is sculptor Richard Hestikind’s workshop on Sculpture and Space wherein he engaged the works of participants in his presentation.

michael binkley sculptor sculpture vancouver canada northwest sculptors association suttle lake oregon usa

This symposium was blessed to have Japanese sculptor Kazutaka Uchida (far left), a disciple of Isamu Noguchi attending and he gave (through an interpreter) a presentation on his highly technical approach to his sculptural work.

Michael Binkley