A Seattle, Washington-based sculptor, stonemason, entrepreneur, and scholar of stonework world-wide, Richard Rhodes apprenticed as a stonemason in Siena, Italy after graduate studies at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. As the first non-Italian admitted into Siena’s ancient masonic guild in 726 years (operative branch of the Freemason’s, heirs to the cathedral builders of Europe), he is known throughout the sculpture and stone community as the “last apprentice.” It was during his guild training that he first encountered the Sacred Geometries and the Sacred Rules of Bondwork, foundational knowledge from the 4,000-year tradition of stone expression. Though now branching into other media such as cast bronze, Rhodes credits his guild training as the major influence in his sculptural practice.
A nationally acclaimed lecturer and educator, Richard has twice addressed the national conventions of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and the Association of Professional Landscape Designers. He has also delivered a five-lecture educational series to the Institute of Classical Architecture in both New York and San Francisco, and lectured to the Building Stone Institute and many public and private universities.
I love the medium of stone. I have worked with it for more than thirty years, devoting my professional and artistic career to the creation of site-specific, sculptural responses to urban environments. Although a challenging material to carve, stone conveys every chisel stroke forward, speaking to future generations with the same vital energy as the day it was crafted.
My sculptural practices have always inhabited a grey area between sculpture and architecture. Virtually all my purely artistic sculptures have been privately and publicly commissioned, many developed in close collaboration with world-class professional design teams. With them, my role has been to translate architectural and design visions into stone expressions. Some inhabit public spaces, others remain in private settings.
My current style of work is abstract and figurative. Typically working larger than human scale, I have been exploring mass and compositional gesture. For the last five years, I have been developing a group of sculptures, the Sentinel Series, designed to stand witness in open landscapes. Several Sentinels are executed in granite and their maquettes cast in bronze. In both styles I strive for deeply expressive textural finishes, crafted by hand with hammer and chisel.
The Rhodesworks Design Studio is located at the MLK elementary building (now the FAME Community Center) next to the Bush School in the Madison Valley neighborhood.
Find the studio by entering off of E Harrison Street, which is one block further south. Rhodesworks Design Studio is located in the last “classroom” on the SE corner. Enter via gate from E Harrison towards the playground then enter another gated courtyard and knock at the gold door.