Wearing farmer’s overalls, a cap and a beatific smile, Lyle Nichols could easily pass for a fruit grower in the small agricultural community of Palisade near Grand Junction, Colorado. Only when you visit his home, a converted barn surrounded by an assortment of glass, steel and stone lawn sculptures, do you catch a glimpse of this unpretentious artist, who can turn chunks of sandstone and rusted metal into unusual and often humorous works of art. Several of Nichols’ large sculptures can be seen in downtown Grand Junction’s “Art on the Corner” project, while a recent composition, Rusty’s Dream, brightens State Highway 6 near Palisades National Bank. The stone-and-metal construction features a dog made of surplus bolts standing on his hind legs, his front paws resting on a granite pedestal containing ten red fire hydrants.
Nichols’ smaller pieces, such as the carved howl and spoon that appeared on a cover of Architectural Digest in 1990, as well as in a recent issue, are becoming sought after home accents. Several of his “match-strikers” – granite bowls with a rough inner surface for lighting matches, adorn Cher’s Aspen home. Arnold Schwarzenegger also owns one. “He smokes cigars, so he has one in his office,” Nichols says. A self-taught artist who grew up in Colorado’s Grand Valley, Nichols takes great pleasure in using local materials. He shaped an enormous piece of granite from the Uncompahgre into a countertop for Carlson’s Vineyard, in Palisade. He recently recycled farm equipment into a life-size of a horse for a Palisade family… Nichols marketing strategies are as low-key as the man himself. “I let one of my neighbor kids sell peaches in my yard this year. A couple stopped and bought $3 worth of peaches and a $6,000 yard sculpture.”
Source: Striking Sculpture by Kathleen Brown, Mountain Living, Spring 1996
“When you finish your work,
it’s not just your idea;
it becomes a reality and belongs
– Lyle Nichols
Martin Cooney is an Architectural Stone Carver and lives just outside of Aspen,
Colorado. He was born in Preston, England and moved to the roaring fork valley in the autumn of 2003.
He learned his trade in the historic city of Bath, recognized worldwide as a center of stone carving, where he completed the Banker Masonry course at the college and worked within the trade for a number of years.
So, no doubt you are wondering just what an Architectural Stone Carver does, and what if anything he can do for you. Well, he carves stone fast and accurately. He can work from blueprints, sketches, photographs …practically anything. He turns out consistent, quality work that meet and exceed building quality standards. But that’s not all …by a long stretch!
Let’s say you’ve just returned from Europe, or Central America, or Boston, and you have a photograph of a nice plaza or piazza where there is a fountain – and on that fountain is carved a face, or a horse …or anything. If you wanted that carving for yourself he could do it for you …the face, or the whole fountain.
In short, he can carve what he likes, or what you like – but whatever that is, it will be the Finest Quality Hand Carved Stonework. Call him today to find out more.
“Nothing is Set in Stone”
Janusz Obst was born in Zamosc, Poland, in a city that was built by a Renaissance artist in the 15th century. Obst went to school in one of Europe’s premier art institutes, a traditional school where he learned sculpture as a craft and artistic expression. In 1980, he formed a group of sculptors, architects and contractors who specialized in building churches and within 10 years, they constructed 12 churches. In 1996, he made a permanent home in Glenwood Springs where he creates commissioned art for upscale homes within the valley. His work includes sculpted stone and oil painting.