“ That’s not granite. It can’t be. That has to be a picture of a marble statue. No one can carve a face that good, that alive, on a granite statue. It’s not possible.” J. Arkles, Studio Della Statua, Florence, Italy
Rcent years have ushered in a wide variety of imported work. The only endearing quality about this work is the price. Produced with little or no regard to worker safety, it reminds us of what men like my grandfather and great-grandfather were forced to suffered through before a safe, humane workplace and a livable wage became legal, ethical standards here in the USA.
During the infancy of the modern USA Memorial Industry, fine Italian sculpture served as the benchmark of quality. To do the same in USA granite, European sculptors soon came to America. These Old World Masters transformed the folk genre of colonial-motif slate tombstones into works of fine art in granite that would outlast the best Italian marble by centuries while greatly expanding the limited possibilities of low relief work in slate. Under their diligent tutelage, American granite artisans became true sculptors.
Memorial and Monumental Sculpture, 100% Made in the USA
Since then, generations of Americans have been producing the finest work ever carved from granite. Even though fewer qualified experts continue to sculpt granite domestically, it is still readily available- no matter what any individual or company tells you. Any company or website that offers a wide selection of readily available standard sculpture products- either from their display lot or through a online or printed catalog- is selling imported work, regardless of how they describe it or what they claim as “their” carving” or sculpture work. “Free Shipping” isn’t free, either. To see how work is actually done, to order in studio, at Carolina Sculpture Studio by Sculptor AC Button II, visit our YouTube channel to view an ever-growing portfolio of project videos.
For those concerned about costs of purchasing Made in USA sculpture work, the wages of any skilled artisan or sculptor are simple to compare to that of any patron. What would a patron’s compensation be for the same amount of time and materials efficiently invested in their field of expertise? There can be a variety of strategies to achieve a desired result, with full honesty and no surprises or hidden fees. Made in the USA matters now more than ever because every dollar spent here can stay here, benefiting entire communities and much more.
During 2015, the tide began to turn. Numerous quotes were provided to major importers of Made in China carvings. When asked why, these importers and their retailers said they simply could not get the highest quality work produced overseas. In some cases, the foreign producers said they would no longer quote demanding projects because too much of their best work had already been refused as being unsatisfactory. This is another victory and further proof that when quality matters, Made in the USA is the standard of quality to which others must aspire.
Throughout this website, I include the names and direct links to the majority of my Masters, mentors and industry-level domestic competitors. Initiated online in 2005 with honest respect and deference, a decade later this policy remains highly unorthodox and unique within the industry. I firmly believe in the overall value, quality and integrity of what I do, as well of the preservation of this important component of American Heritage. If Carolina Sculpture Studio is not your studio of choice, please use another professional, reputable domestic source.
Each mentioned source is well-recognized within the USA Granite Industry and can be readily researched regarding overall performance and professional reputation. We are all acquainted with each other in this small world of granite, but make no mistake- we are all in full competition in a tight market where every project is significant. Specialties, capacity, schedule, preferred subject matter, style and media vary.
As an professional community, we will all succeed or we will all fail under the massive burden of unfair Free Trade-related competition, commonly of inferior value, service and product quality. Every job filled with imported work hurts all of us collectively more than any single project lost within our circle of USA sculptors. When you purchase sculpture work, Buy 100% Made in the USA. AC Button II, Carolina Sculpture Studio Boiling Springs, SC
So does 100% Made in the USA matter anymore? We know it does and hope you will, too.