Sebastian Martorana using a pneumatic hammer in his studio. Photo by Geoff T. Graham.
In my studio I pursue both precision and play. I practice, practice, practice in the impossible pursuit of perfection.
In my studio I dream up new tools that should exist, and I make calls to those who can help me make them real. My studio is a research lab, an experimental space, inside the blast radius, the scene of the crime—and occasionally the site of temporary victory. In my studio I can bash and blast and bang sculptures; I can also throttle down to tap, tap, tap with teeny-tiny tools.
My studio is the stage for performance art that no one will ever see . . . mostly.
In my studio I have my say. In my studio I pursue both precision and play. I practice, practice, practice in the impossible pursuit of perfection. I tune out noise that I hear with my ears and tune in past advice I can hear in my head. In my studio I remember to just get rid of the bad stone. In my studio when you think you are good—that is when you are not. In my studio don’t just do what you know how to do because you know it will be good, but do what you don’t know how to do because it might be bad. In my studio I learn. In my studio sometimes you have to go slow, take your time, and don’t make any mistakes. My studio can be confusing sometimes.
ABOVE: Martorana at work on We Both Wear Pants, 2015, one part of a diptych made from Montclair Danby marble. RIGHT: Working on final finish. Photos by Alain Hain.
My studio is home to that broke Baltimore grad student looking for rocks 15 years ago—the one who instead found a stone shop without a carver. In my studio there is a synergy between one of the youngest carvers in the country and one of its oldest stone shops (founded in 1981 and 1863 respectively). In my studio there is a former 40 under 40 still feeling fresh, but increasingly fearful of the finite nature of the flesh. Fortunately, the forever nature of these metamorphic matrices will endure long past the failure of these frail phalanges.
In my studio I am making dust out of a big stone for the country’s biggest bank, I am beating a boulder into a bench, and I am folding marble fabric one mallet strike at a time. My studio is the base camp for artistic expeditions to various locations including monuments and memorials, museums and galleries, even the occasional visit to a big, old church on a small, older island up north.
In my studio I never watch the clock.
In my studio I set alarms to remind me to turn off the lights and step away from the rock.
In my studio I sit and reflect on each project and I excitedly wonder what to expect of the next!
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