Indiana Limestone Symposium
Learn how to carve limestone right at the source. The Indiana Limestone Symposium takes place every June on the grounds of our facility. Workshops are led by nationally recognized stone artists experienced in both sculptural and architectural carving.
June 2 - 22, 2019
The Art of Carving I, II & III
Art of Carving I: June 2 – 8, 2019
Art of Carving II: June 9 – 15, 2019
Art of Carving III: June 16 – 22, 2019
Each full session consists of seven days of immersive instruction in the art of carving limestone, including design, moving stone, splitting blocks, roughing out, using hand and pneumatic tools, and much more. Different instructors are featured each session. An introduction to using basic tools, roughing out, and working from a maquette or drawing is given on the first day. The week continues with techniques for carving and basic principles of sculpting. Instruction is geared toward each participant’s skills, needs and level of proficiency. Tools are not provided.
Included in each session: Up to 8 cubic feet of limestone per session (approximately 1,200 pounds), compressed air, electricity, water, forklift, snacks, beverages, official Symposium t-shirt.
$875 per session
$825 Early Bird special – Register by April 1st, 2019
Letter Carving Workshop
Limited to 15 participants – register today!
Art of Carving: June 10 – 14, 2019
The Lettering class starts on Monday at Ivy Tech Comm. College, Room D 201, with instruction in forming letters and composition of words . Instruction continues with letter carving in stone at the Symposium site on Tuesday and concludes Friday June 14. Workshop meets 9am – 12pm and 1pm – 5pm . Expert calligrapher and letter carver Janey Westin will lead you through the lettering process from making the letter form to carving it in the stone. Janey will have lettering brushes for sale. Paper, stone, and tools will be provided. Participants must bring safety glasses and wear sturdy, close-toed shoes; no sandals or flip-flops permitted at the Symposium site. Please note that there is no catered lunch available for the Mon session at Ivy Tech Comm. College. Ivy tech is located at 200 Daniels Way, Bloomington IN 47403.
Workshop participants will need to bring:
- A couple of sharpened pencils
- A soft eraser
- A pair of scissors
- A small tube of black gouache or watercolor paint (or any darker color)
- A flat-bottomed wide-top water container (about 4″ high)
- A notebook for their own note taking
- A 12 – 18″ straightedge
- $7 for lettering brush
Workshop price: $450
Adult Hand Carving
June 3 – 7, 2019
June 17 – 21, 2019
Beginning instruction in hand carving; work at your own pace. One or more days, pay as you go. Multiple days do not need to be consecutive. Workshops are Half Day (9am – 12pm) or Full Day (9am – 12pm and 2pm – 5pm) Monday – Friday. Participants must bring safety glasses and wear sturdy, close-toed shoes; no sandals or flip-flops permitted.
Included: Instruction, drinks, snacks, loan of tools, and stone (assorted sizes up to 2 cubic feet: approximately 300 pounds). Sorry, we cannot provide stone cut to order for day carving.
Hand carvers are welcome to work on their own and/or enjoy lunch (bring your own or add our lunch option) from 12pm -2pm.
$55 Half Day (single day): 9am – 12pm
$100 Full Day (single day): 9am – 12pm and 2pm – 5pm
$250 Full Week, Half Days (Mon to Fri): 9am – 12pm
$450 Full Week, Full Days (Mon to Fri) 9am – 12pm and 2pm – 5pm
Kids Hand Carving
Beginner (ages 10 – 18): June 10 – 14, 2019, 9:00am – 12:00pm
Advanced (ages 13 – 18): June 10 – 14, 2019, 2:00am – 5:00pm
Thanks to the generous support of the Young Family Endowment, we are able to offer youth hand carving at a special reduced price: $75 for one week of instruction (five consecutive mornings). Class size is limited to 10 students.
Beginner kids learn to carve on limestone blocks approximately 8 inches square. Advanced students will work in the round, and have a chance to try out pneumatic tools. Workshops are 9 am-12 pm, Monday-Friday. Participants must bring safety glasses, work gloves, water, drinks and snacks, and wear sturdy, close-toed shoes, no sandals or flip-flops permitted. Parents must accompany children ages 10-12.
Included: Instruction, tools, and stone. Sorry, per-day instruction is not available.
$75 per 5-day week
9am – 12pm
Cascades Inn is offering special rates for Limestone Symposium patrons:
Traveler’s dorm: $20/weeknight, $25/weekend night.
- Price is per bed.
Standard rooms: $44/weeknight, $54/weekend night.
- Single king, single queen, or 2 full size beds.
Deluxe rooms: $54/weeknight, $64/weekend night.
- 2 queen beds, or 1 king with full size sofa bed.
Menu varies every day.
$84 for those registered for Art of Carving, Figure Carving, and Work on Your Own weeks.
$60 / week, or $12 / day for those registered for Hand carving.
Please indicate if you are vegetarian.
Indiana Limestone Symposium
In 1995, stonecarvers Amy Brier and Frank Young, then executive director of Waldron Arts Center in Bloomington, Ind., approached Will Bybee of Bybee Stone Company with a novel idea: Why not institute a plein air carving workshop – open to any interested amateur or professional – on the grounds of the company?
Bybee welcomed the idea. He’d been concerned about the apparent lack of carving professionals and already had instituted an in-house training program based on the apprentice system. Bybee Stone had been the first Indiana limestone fabrication plant to offer in-house carving services to clients; most area limestone mills had historically used subcontractors to provide for their clients’ carving needs.
Brier and Young followed through on the idea, and the first Indiana Limestone Symposium was hosted by Bybee Stone Company the next year, in a pocket field across from the Bybee plant. Neighboring business owner Bill Cook provided electric service for that and for subsequent symposiums, and the annual program has been attended by over 200 carvers from around the country – and the world – since then.
Under Brier’s direction, the symposium is held in weeklong sessions every year in June. Carving instruction is offered to amateur through professional carvers in a variety of styles and techniques, using both hand and pneumatic tools.
Middle Way House
Bybee Stone Company was happy to contribute 270 cubic feet of limestone trim, coping and decorative urns for the redevelopment of the historic Coca Cola Bottling Co. plant in downtown Bloomington, Ind.
The renovated building serves as administrative offices for Middle Way House, a social service agency that provides emergency shelter, housing options, legal advocacy and employment options for women and their children in need in south-central Indiana. Middle Way House, founded in 1981, is one of only six model programs providing meaningful alternatives to living with violence in the United States. The new facility is fully accessible, and its design is consistent with sustainable construction principles.