Carving mostly granitic fieldstones carried by glacier, Bainbridge Island stone sculptor Molly Greist feels that stone has Life, Spirit and a Will of its own.
"A sculptor can always use hammer and chisel, but if she can sing the right songs, the songs that speak the true names, the songs that go to the very heart of the matter with which she works, she can inspire that matter to participate intelligently in its own development and re-creation." - (Ken Carey, Starseed, The Third Millennium)
Molly Greist began carving stone in 1989, after the loss of her 10-month-old son, Peter, in an automobile accident. Her son’s name, Peter, means rock, and this connection proved to be of powerful significance in Molly's journeying through grief and loss. Inspired by the stone work and devout faith of stone sculptor, James W. Washington Jr., Molly was drawn to carving stone for strength and healing. She began trusting her process, feeling that there was a force greater than her self working with her. With hammer in one hand and chisel in the other, Molly began chipping her way out of the pain and darkness of grief.
"I hope sharing my process will help others not be afraid of the darkness of grief. We have a choice. Loss of a child can be devastating. Grief can be frighteningly agonizing and it is also vital to expanding self and understanding what it means to be fully human and alive in this world. Be in the darkness for as long as it takes for the eyes to see in the dark, then you will find your light within. By carving stone I am honoring the life of our son Peter and acknowledging his death as well. At his birth we thought of him as a gift, at his death we realized he was the bearer of a gift. I think of my calling to carve stone as a gift from Peter. I feel most deeply gratified when I can step back from a stone I have carved and experience a sense of wonder ... where did this stone come from? At the same time, feeling a reassuring connection to Life, the Earth and the profoundly enduring bond of unconditional love between mother and child."
Molly Greist is the subject of a documentary film titled "Grief Is More Than Crying," in which she shares her art as it relates to her personal grief and healing process. The film is by Lois Shelton, Foxglove Film Productions, and is the winner of the 1996 Gold Apple Award, National Education Media Network. Molly maintains an affiliation with the Scottish Sculpture Workshop, Scotland, U.K., Scandinavian Artisans in Denmark and Sweden and Northwest Stone Sculptor's Association, Seattle.She has exhibited locally as well as abroad. Although the majority of her work is privately owned, currently, eight of her works are publicly installed.
Molly presents at conferences and retreats, as well as in school and community venues on grief and hope, inspiration and creativity. She has more than 20 years experience carving and working with stone, years of study and practical application of her awareness and understanding of grief. Molly speaks of grief and recovery with compelling conviction, directly from the heart of personal experience. she shares wisdom and discernment beyond the scope of traditional, intellectual knowing.
Current presentation abstracts:
Chipping Away at Grief: In this presentation, Molly Greist stone sculptor, bereaved parent and adult sibling invites you to explore her world of working with stone, the mystery and healing potential of creativity and discovery of one's own inner resources for strength and recovery from loss. View the award-winning documentary film, Grief is More than Crying, the story of how Molly Greist used hammer and chisel to literally chip her way through the pain of the death of her ten-month-old son Peter in an automobile accident. Molly will share the significance of the metaphor, "chipping away at grief", how it relates to the very real and physical act of carving and working with stone and her own grief process.
The Physics of Grief: In this workshop-style presentation, Molly Greist stone sculptor and bereaved parent, will demonstrate how she believes working with stone accelerated a deeper more complete healing after the sudden traumatic death of her ten-month-old son, Peter, in an automobile accident. Molly applies years of searching, study and practical experience to her awareness and understanding of a total-system impact of grief. She will introduce participants to her synergistic approach to grief, combining relaxation, physical activity, creative as well critical thinking, spirituality and ritual. This presentation is designed to be hands-on, empowering and transformative.
The Landscape of Grief: In this presentation, Molly Greist stone sculptor, and bereaved parent brings her personal experience of grief and working with stone to participants. Molly began carving stone in 1989, after the traumatic death of her ten-month-old son, Peter, in an automobile accident. Molly will take you on a journey through the landscape of grief, calling upon mental, physical and creative action. Participants will be instructed on how to design and build a labyrinth and will collectively lay out a seven circuit labyrinth of walking proportion. There will be discussion about the healing potential, symbolism and use of labyrinths and stone in the context of grief. The workshop will culminate with ritual and walking the labyrinth.
For information regarding new work, commissions and exhibitions, please contact:
Molly Greist/stone sculptor