Walter S. Arnold, Sculptor/Stone Carver: Classically trained in Italy. Custom hand-carved stone sculpture. Made in the USA and Italy.

Walter S. Arnold Sculptor/Stonecarver: Classically trained in Italy. Custom hand-carved stone sculpture. Made in the USA and Italy.Classically trained in Italy. Custom, hand-carved, stone sculpture. Made in the USA and Italy.    Call for an estimate:  (847) 568-1188  or


The Gargoyle News #10, Feb. 11, 2001

Matt V. wrote to ask, "Why do you sculpt gargoyles?"

Answer: I love creating gargoyles for a number of reasons. They allow a wonderful combination of discipline and improvisation, sort of like jazz. Most of my other stone work is very structured and disciplined. Architectural and ornamental stone carving requires a high degree of skill and precision. The designs and dimensions are fully worked out before I start cutting the block of stone. Gargoyles and grotesques give me a chance to "let go" and improvise, to play with the stone, the forms, the effects of light and shadow. I can use everything I know about the craft of carving, portraiture, anatomy, and expression, and combine those skills with creative freedom, imagination, and fantasy.

Many people have a fixed concept of what a gargoyle should look like. These images are shaped by a couple of the most famous carvings at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, and some of the more common commercially available sculptures like the winged dog with the chain around its neck. Those are wonderful works, but I don't want to repeat them. Instead, I try to push my imagination and stretch my skills in stone carving by creating new and different gargoyles. I want mine to express a unique character, influenced by art history and other sources, but expressing my imagination and my love of stone.

I have visited Notre Dame several times; it is magnificent. Here are two very good sites about Notre Dame and its Chimeras, Gargoyles and Grotesques. This site, in French, is full of photos of Notre Dame Cathedral.  Follow the links at the top of the page to see the rest of the Cathedral.

The Earthlore site has an historical timeline and a great discussion of the history of Notre Dame cathedral. Note particularly the gargoyle on the 
link to the "Vista of Paris from atop Notre Dame". The site is filled with other Gothic lore, and it's always growing, so you may wish to bookmark it.

I've added photos of some wonderful carvings in Toronto to my Gargoyles of the World page. Also new on that page is a Chicago green man, a photo I took many years ago. It's just two blocks from the house where I grew up; for years I used to walk past that building every day on my way to school- no wonder I turned out the way I did :-)  I hope some of you will contribute good photos of your friendly  neighborhood gargoyles to add to this page, and remember, send lots of Valentines gargoyle postcards to your friends and lovers. Let them know gargoyles are alive and thriving in the 21st century!

You can read more issues online:

Issue 7        Mythology of gargoyles, the Zoroastrian Farohar
Issue 10      Why sculpt gargoyles? Notre Dame and Toronto gargoyles
Issue 32     
Narita, Japan
Issue 33      Naritasan Shinshoji Temple, Valentines gargoyles
Issue 51     
Stonecarvers Guild, New York Gargoyles, Frank Lloyd Wright Fountain
Issue 68     
Dublin, My new studio, Jackson Park Bridge, student questions, wedding registry
Issue 81      Aurora Dream Cycles Show, Almora B&B, Emperor Trajan, Facebook
  Special pages created to accompany newsletter issues:
Atlanta Botanical Garden
Antique Italian Cars
Architectural vandalism
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Calvary Cemetery
Carving the Indiana Museum gargoyles
Des Moines, Iowa
Dublin, Ireland
Gargoyle Tattoos
Jackson Park Animal Bridge
Las Vegas
My New Studio
Orvieto, Italy
Prague, Czech Republic
San Diego, Balboa Park
Staglieno Cemetery, Genoa, Italy
Volterra Italy
Zimbabwe Sculpture in Atlanta

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