Mervin Thompson

(415) 683-5926

My grandfather was a stone carver. I knew about it but it held little interest for me. I was busy buying land and building cabins. And then along came a 12,000 acre Sonoma County/Cazadero forest fire [1978] which took everything. This is when the art story started getting good. Soon after I was at a Sebastopol Ca. flea market when I noticed some strange tools. I said “what are those?’ he said, “granite carving chisels” I said “how much?”, he said “$5.00”. On the way home I picked up a ‘likely looking stone’. When I hit the stone with a hammer and a ‘point’ [a stone chisel], A feeling of ‘I’m home/ ecstasy-electricity’ shot through the stone, the chisel, the hammer, my hand, arm, shoulder, heart and both legs right into the earth. I never looked back, in ’82 and ’83 I was studying stone sculpture in Italy, by 1991 I was one of two lead stone carvers on the restoration of the stone exterior of The Saint Francis Hotel on Union Square [which took 6 years] We also restored the Pacific Union Club on Nob Hill and other Historical landmarks In San Francisco. These are the ‘success’ highlights, the ‘real work’ for me has been personal sculpture. It’s a very deep love/hate affair of the heart. More passion than you could ever hope for is present at the same moment as a deep suffering. [ a disclaimer here, some ‘pieces’ fly through me with joy, like they were waiting in line and their moment had arrived]