Nina Bilbey, Senior Stone Carving Tutor, City & Guilds of London Art School
Nina comes from a family of Master Craftsmen. From the beginning she was encouraged to respect the nature and the practical limitations of natural materials. She was taught the necessity of process and creativity in completing that challenge, and the rationale behind the use of discipline and the development of various formal tool skills to help achieve not only the true potential of the material, but one’s own. When one chooses to truly understand stone, as with wood, you make the commitment to study its uses and the aesthetic styles historically associated with it. Through this one gains a design freedom that cultivates creativity through limitation. One learns to continually push your own professional practice through frustration – learning through every new task how to solve a variety of problems and in doing so becoming a ‘better’ designer and sculptor. It is the first commitment one undertakes when craft becomes your chosen career path and something that if you are lucky, gives you immense joy for the rest of your life.