Frans Hilgers

Sculptures in Stone and Wood

NEW: opus 107

Exhibition October 9 and 10, 2021

I started sculpting in stone in 2002 and in wood in 2012. The story of a former patient inspired me at my first attempts. One year after his successful cancer treatment, this 50-year man quitted his job as director of a shoe factory and started what turned out to be an almost 20-year successful career as sculptor. Seeing what he was able to achieve within only a few years was really inspiring. Also, the TV/Teleac sculpting course of Kees Verwey in 2002 was a trigger. Ordering the videotapes of that course and a basic set of instruments and some pieces of stone gave me a flying start. After my first experience with a small, coloured piece of soapstone, I was hooked. The availability of in-depth information on the internet was and is invaluable as well, enabling me to gradually improve and expand my technique and to develop an organic, non-abstract style. Having several formidable artist friends occasionally giving advice is a great educational help, as well.

For me, sculpting has similarities with surgery, requiring a 3-D vision on the (t)issue at hand, which makes working in my own studio on intriguing stones and wood samples a great compensation for my former professional craft. Another similarity with surgery is that you have to regain the capability of looking with your fingers/hands, something we have been "cured" from as children to make us socially "acceptable".

I prefer to work with stones of which I know the site of origin, and with respect to (Dutch) wood, the site it has been growing. My inspiration can come from the shape of the stone or wood sample and from every day observations and interactions, resulting in organic, figurative sketches, harmonic movements, and body contours …….

On April 7, 2019, a huge, blazing fire completely destroyed the building where I had my studio and shattered 22 of my sculptures (27 items), and my complete stock of stones and wood, instruments, power tools and all other technical equipment ….. After 3 months, I got a new studio, enabling me to start up again, reducing the mourning period substantially …..

Last update October 22, 2021 - For general website, see