Collene Karcher

Media: Mixed Media

Bakersville, NC
828 688-2827

Stonecarver Collene Karcher has over 25 years of experience in the art of carving stone. Having studied at the Rhode Island School of Design and in Italy, she received a bachelor of arts degree while apprenticing under Stonecarver George Wagner. Her background also includes restoration work on the Michigan and Ohio state capital buildings. In 1994 she discontinued exhibiting in galleries and art shows while opening her studio to the public.

Tucked away in a small timber frame studio located in the mountains of Western North Carolina, Stonecarver Collene Karcher patiently coaxes form from a block of marble. Cuts letters into a slab of slate. With over 25 years of experience sculpting in a variety of stone including marble, alabaster, slate and limestone, she is also one of only a handful of stone cutters in the United States still practicing the fine art of hand carved letters.


"As a sculptor living and working in these mountains, I have always been inspired by and interested in the work I saw in tiny local graveyards. I learn something new every time I run my hand over an old grave marker. I have always practiced letter carving alongside my three dimensional work and at some point it began to cross over. Letter carving on sculpture. Sculpture mixed in with letter carving."


Questioning the order of things and the establishment, Karcher discontinued exhibiting in galleries and art shows in 1994. Instead she opened her studio to the public with the idea of being a local resource and providing a one on one experience between collectors and appreciators of find art and the artist. Accordingly, her work has been available exclusively through her mountain studio.
A hermit at heart, her work echoes other contemporary folk artists existing, creating and observing in the margins of our culture.
Since that initial opening 18 years ago, folks from all over the country and the world have found their way to her studio. Good conversations have ensued. Much has been learned on both sides with visitors often inclined to sit a spell.

Visit a working studio and gallery and receive a personal tour. Discover what is involved in the fine art of carving stone.

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