Chipping Away, and Making a Racket Stone carving instructor Alan Tollackson muses on the sound he hears when he teaches: a roomful of students making chipping sounds as they work.
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Chipping Away, and Making a Racket

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Chipping Away, and Making a Racket

Chipping Away, and Making a Racket

Chipping Away, and Making a Racket

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  • Transcript

Stone carving instructor Alan Tollackson muses on the sound he hears when he teaches: a roomful of students making chipping sounds as they work.

MICHELE NORRIS, host:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED, from NPR News. I'm Michele Norris.

MELISSA BLOCK, host:

And I'm Melissa Block.

This summer we've started eavesdropping on America at home and at work. We've asked listeners to send us sound clips, evocative or interesting sounds from their lives. Today's comes from an artist in Kansas.

(Soundbite of chipping sounds)

Mr. ALAN TOLLAKSON (Stone Sculptor): My name is Alan Tollakson. I'm a stone sculptor living in Emporia, Kansas, and this is a recording of a stone carving workshop that I taught at the Kansas City Art Institute. It's the sound of 20 pairs of hammers and chisels on stone.

Sometimes I wonder if this is what it sounds like to be flying a space ship through a meteor shower. Or maybe it could be a tap-dancing class, where everybody is just kind of doing their own thing. But being close to that sound evokes, for me, the meaning of my lifestyle choice as a stone carver. It's like the accumulation of striking a chisel over a 25-year span.

(Soundbite of chipping sounds)

Mr. TOLLAKSON: The work that I do is architectural stonework for buildings, as well as fine art sculpture. In my stonework workshops, my students just do a range of things. They're beginning students and they're learning the art of stone carving, and hopefully they're going to carry on that tradition in the future.

BLOCK: Alan Tollakson. He teaches stone carving in Kansas. If you have a distinct sound in your life, at work or play, you can tell us about it at NRP.org/soundclips.

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