Inventive Manipulation of Translucent Stone Material: Carvings by Barbara Segal

Transformation: raw becomes refined, heavy becomes light, industrial becomes personal, and the everyday is celebrated.

This past Sunday, the New York Times featured sculptor Barbara Segal’s custom stone carvings. An exploration of materiality and iconic forms, Barbara’s work explore the hand processing of translucent stone, transforming the material into dreamlike sculptures of everyday garments.

The granddaughter of a furniture maker, Barbara was intrigued by the carving process from a young age. A seasoned artist, Barbara attended the L’Ecole Nationale Superieure des Beaux-Arts, where she honed her fine craftsmanship skills.

“Currently, Barbara is working on her latest series, Little Girls’ Dresses, after being inspired by a family portrait where all the little girls are dressed in 1950’s finery–puffy sleeves, lace collars and full skirts. In this collection, Barbara carves delicate layers of lace and fabric into translucent alabaster and onyx stones. Light passes through the materials, transforming simple children’s dresses into a lush, sensual memory. In recognizing the beauty and uniqueness of Barbara’s work, Dr. Judy Collischan, former Associate Director to Curatorial Affairs for the Neuberger Museum, states, ‘She is a master at creating complex, detailed and unusual objects from hard stone…Her remarkable technical skill, paired with her quirky subject matter, excite fascination and incredulity.’ ” (From the New York Times)

Here is a visual sampling of Barbara’s work:

Translucent Hand Carved Alabaster Dress


Baby Dress Carved From White Alabaster

Translucent Hand Carved Stone Shirts

Jacket Carved From Black Marble and Jersey Carved From Black and White Marble

Image Credit: Barbara Segal