Sollai’s adventures learning to carve in Pietrasanta have led to more studio time up in the mountains on a friend’s farm looking out over magnificent vistas and finally down on the river where he has a small studio. Here he was able to complete the sculptures he had started in Pietrasanta. It is no easy task finishing an artwork. Once you have resolved the idea and the forms it seems tedious to finish the work when all you want to do is get onto the next work, the next act of creation. The labouring in polishing marble is huge, hours and hours going through the grades of honing stone and papers, but herein lie the rewards. There is something about polishing marble and bringing out that special luminosity that brings you more and more in love with it. It seems that the marble is living, light twinkling in all the tiny crystals below the surface. The final result is joyous and feels like a massive achievement, no matter how small the work.
Sollai has completed four really lovely works. They are abstract versions of nature and seem to spring from his own sensitive earthiness. He found inspiration on his treks in the summer through the mountains of the Orrido di Botri, adding little organic finds to his collection of studio ideas. He is a good drawer and his sketches are often the foundation of his work, a part of a long process of a sculpture’s evolution. I have put up three of the sculptures and am waiting on a photo of the fourth.