Stone carving has been an essential part of Tenino, WA’s character for over one hundred years. The roots of the culture go back to the turn of the twentieth century when the first sandstone quarries were established and regional government and commercial buildings were adorned with stone carvings. As part of the inaugural Heritage Arts Apprenticeship Program in 2018, carver Ed Salerno taught the tradition to Colby Russell, for whom stone carving is a family trade. Ed has been carving since 2015 after apprenticing with master carver Keith Philips, who has been carving for over three decades. Keith’s work can be seen throughout Tenino, other parts of Washington and even at Powell’s book store in Portland. Keith also founded the Shed, the downtown Tenino workshop which operates as the hub for stone carving in Tenino. Keith will participate in the Heritage Arts Apprenticeship program this year, working with apprentice Ian Williams to further preserve the practice.
Learn more about the Tenino Stone Carvers at their website: https://teninostonecarvers.com/.
We recently traveled to Tenino to meet up with Ed and to check out he and Colby’s work. While there, Keith came by (with fellow carver Dan Miller) and invited us to visit the Hercules Quarry #1, an old sandstone quarry and their second carving workshop. Check out a few pics from our trip below!