Ben Cabot is a lifelong summer resident of West Tisbury on Martha’s Vineyard. After graduating from Bates College in 1990, Ben moved to the island as a year-round resident. Working full-time as a stonemason, Ben is entirely self-taught in the art of stone carving. The animal forms he uses are the product of imagination and research on the history of animal decoys.
Bird on a Post Series
Artist statement by Ben Cabot
The inspiration for my bird on a post series came from seeing a Red-Tailed Hawk perched on a wooden fence post. Its’ stoic poise, confidence and stability inspired me to translate that image into stone. My birds take on their own personality and individuality. I intentionally make each one different, allowing each bird to take on a like of its own.
I choose to use recycled granite for several reasons. Most of the quarries of whose granite I prefer are no longer operating. Any granite from these old quarries must be salvaged from bridge abutment blocks, curbstones, foundation block and other structures. Since the stone was quarried originally for structural and not sculptural use, imperfections such as iron deposits (which show rust), other grains or veining are common.
All of these factors are present in most of the old Island granite fences and gateposts. Since these were made from boulders created by glaciers they contain similar imperfections.
Working with such stone proves to be a challenge. To avoid or incorporate certain unique qualities into the piece yet maintain the structural integrity of the post is what I strive for in each of my sculptures.
As with all granite, these posts will weather with time, taking on customary gray tones that local farm walls and posts come to have. (If it is not desired, any household cleaner can be used to preserve its present condition).
Other than changing color with time, these birds will continue to keep watch for centuries to come.
Hawk Taking Flight
53" x 12" x 8"
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