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 #51, June 22, 2003

New York City
Slow newsletters
Spam guardian
Frank Lloyd Wright Fountain

I was in New York City earlier this month for a meeting of
the Stonecarvers Guild. We have been organizing this guild
to preserve and promote the trade of architectural stone
carving in the United States. At one time there were thousands
of highly skilled carvers embellishing the buildings of this
country, carving gargoyles, crests, garlands, and other
architectural ornament and sculpture. Now many people think
we are an extinct breed. We are out to show that carved stone
is still vibrant and relevant in this new century.

There is a lot of confusion about difference between stone
carvers and stone sculptors. Sculptor are artists who create
their own original three dimensional designs. They strive to
develop a unique personal style. A carver is an artisan who
can execute any design in stone. A good carver can work in
any style and faithfully realize the desired form. Stone
carvers use natural stone. Some use limestone and marble,
others sandstone or granite. This is completely different
from all the "cast stone" and "cast marble" now being marketed.
"Cast stone" is cement, not stone. Cast marble is plastic or
fiberglass, with some stone dust mixed in. They are poured in
a mold, not carved by hand. While some of us in the guild are
both carvers and sculptors, we all share a dedication to the
traditional skills of the craft and seek the versatility to
apply these skills to a wide range of work. You can see
portfolios of many of the professional stone carvers on the
guild website,

After meeting at St. John the Divine Cathedral, we took a walk
around the neighborhood. There was one building in particular
which I wanted to revisit, having seen it 20 years ago.
527 West 110th Street features some of my favorite carvings,
wonderful grotesque figures supporting two balconies. I feel
that they epitomize what carving gargoyles is all about. The
carvers employed virtuoso technical skills and aesthetic
judgment to carve with a very deft, loose hand. They developed
the forms to create a lively interplay of light and shadow and
to work visually and structurally with the building. Moreover,
they produced works that are still fresh and give delight and
inspiration one hundred years after they were carved.

I've added a page with these carvings to the Gargoyles of
the World section of my site. They're at
You can see more New York gargoyles and grotesques on
Amelia Wilson's "Love of Monsters" website at


Natalie from South Africa wrote to say "hi walter,
I subscribed to your paper in may 2003 and have since only
received one report - when will you be sending out some more
info on your trips to weird and wonderful places?"

Yes, I apologize for being so late in writing this newsletter.
I have been traveling (the New York trip, and the weekend
before my wife and I went "camping" in Michigan- daytime in
the woods, but at night we slept in a warm motel), and my shop
has been really busy. I've taken delivery of about three tons
of stone blocks this week, and more stone is due in next week.
I'll turn it into a number of large gargoyles and several
fireplaces. Two new gargoyles are almost done, a third is half
way along, and and I'm finishing two large lion Fountains.
Stay tuned this summer to see what I come up with!

Do you prefer receiving this newsletter on weekends or weekdays?
Let me know.


My New York trip was very brief, so I didn't bring my laptop
and I didn't check my e-mail for about 36 hours. During that
time my inbox collected 242 spams. I'm starting to believe that
we're heading for a complete e-mail melt-down. Many people will
find they can't afford to use e-mail; the unreliability, the
false positives on any spam blocking causing them to lose important
mail, the offensive messages assaulting them, and the cost in time
and effort to sort the mail could go over the breaking point.

Any form of spam blocking is prone to "false positives", and for
those of us who use e-mail for business that can cause big problems.
Recently National Geographic magazine sent out a request to 250
photographers and photographic agencies requesting images for an
article on sexual selection. One quarter of those requests bounced
back, blocked by filtering systems which flagged the subject line,
"Sexual Selection Article". More than 80 photographers missed a job
request from an important client.

I'm trying to come up with a spam blocking gargoyle which will fly
into spammers' homes at night and chew up their computers, but in
the mean time there are a couple things I do to try to control the flood.

Rather than a normal filter, I use a program called Mailwasher. It
lets me quickly preview all my e-mail before I actually download the
e-mail into my computer. It flags all the suspected spam and viruses,
and I can then scroll down the list and decide which ones to get rid of.
It can also bounce emails back to the sender so it looks like your
address doesn't exist; that helps get you off of some junk lists.
This is much faster than downloading and deleting mail, and much
safer, since the spams never enter your computer. You can download
a free copy at and remember to put The
Gargoyle News in your "friends" list.

I also set my e-mail program (I use Eudora, which is much less
of a virus target than Outlook) to only download the first 10k of
any message. If there are attachments I can preview the message
first before bringing the rest of it into my computer. This speeds
up the mail download and also offers an extra level of protection
from viral attachments.

One reason I receive so much spam is because I have an e-mail g
link on nearly every page on my site, so people can send questions
and comments. Unfortunately, the spammers use harvesting programs
to find addresses on web pages. I recently encoded all the instances
of my e-mail address. This is a trick that allows the e-mail link
to still work, but hides the address from text based viewing. You can
find encoders at and and if you have a website
I recommend you use this trick. In my case I probably closed the
barn door after the gremlins got in, since my address has been out
there for years.


I finished the fountain that I described last month. This piece,
based on the designs of the architect Frank Lloyd Wright, is
installed in the courtyard of the Village Hall of Lincolnwood,
Illinois. You can see it with other examples of my latest work


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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