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This is a detail of a relief I carved for a limestone fireplace mantel for a
country home in Stonington, Connecticut. My client's grandmother had
been a collector of antiquities. Among her huge collection were ancient
cylinder seals, some of which were bequested to the Metropolitan Museum
of Art. These were small cylindrical pieces of stone which had tiny scenes
carved into their surfaces. They could be rolled over clay tablets and the
scene would be transferred to the soft clay and that would serve as the
signature of the king or nobleman. The relief carving that I designed to
decorate the fireplace of my friend was derived from one of his
grandmother's seals. The rest of the fireplace was designed in collaboration
with a prominent New  York architect who designed a comprehensive
renovation of the entire house.
This is a fireplace I designed and carved for a mansion on Fifth Avenue in
Manhattan. It is the first major project I undertook after becoming
self-employed. The carving represents a pair of leaves at the lower corners
that transform in several stages into beasts as they rise up the sides and
converge in the center, where they fight. The geometry of the moulding is
complex as it curves simultaneously in the front plane and the side plane.
It is made out of Minnesota marble.
This is a stone vase I made for one of my clients as a present to his wife. It is
made of Carrera marble. There is an egg and dart motif around the top
and low relief carving of flowers and vines on the body and handles. The
base is fluted. It was carved completely by hand (out of one block), not
lathed.
This is a wall fountain I designed and carved in limestone for the backyard
of a townhouse on the Upper East Side in Manhattan. It was commissioned
by a gifted interior designer and her Wall Street executive husband for a
building they renovated for their family. The water squirts out of the
mouths of the three faces. One of the faces is shown in detail in the next
image.
This is a close up of one of the faces and flanking pillasters and capitals
from the fountain shown above. Notice the rich capitals with their sea
creature motifs.
This is a memorial relief I did in limestone for a young man who was
tragically killed in East Harlem, New York City. He was a custodian in a
community music school and according to the article I read in
The New
York Times
, he was a friend to all in the neighborhood. The article said that
the director of the music school intended to put up a plaque in the lobby to
commemorate the young man, so I went to her and offered my services. I
created this beautiful and heartfelt sculpture for the money they had
raised to purchase an engraved metal plaque from a trophy shop because I
believe in the importance of emphasizing positive role models, especially in
communities where options are few.
This is a foyer table I designed and carved for a New York City apartment
belonging to a distinguished architect and his writer wife and daughter.
The limestone supports represent two different approaches to creativity.
The musician on the right is using sheet music. The one on the left is
improvising. Both are nestled in acanthus leaves, standing on volutes. This
demonstrates my capacity to mix sculpture and precise geometry.
This is a limestone relief I did for Sculpture Review magazine, a publication
of the National Sculpture Society. My friends and mentors had just taken
over as editors of the magazine, and one of their ideas for revamping it
was to commission a new hexagonal relief for each issue. The three figures
represent the past, present, and future. The present is at the top reaching
forward to the future but at the same time fending off the past, who is
trying to irritate him with a stick. The future holds out gold coins in his
hands with a dangerous snake coiled around them. Notice that the
future's face is not finished (symbolically). This piece was exhibited at
James Graham & Sons gallery on the Upper East Side of Manhattan.
I was honored when the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City
chose me to make a sculpture of some of the most revered people of the
20th Century to stand alongside their existing sculptures representing
the heroes of past centuries. The surrounding carvings were all done in
the 1920's, and it was a challenge to meet the high standards of that
period as well as to squeeze four figures into the same sized niche as the
others (each of which holds only one figure). This carving is made of
Champville marble.
I designed and carved this Renaissance-style capital for the Institute of
Classical Architecture. I was commissioned to create a piece to honor a
benefactor of the Institute. This piece highlights my ability to create
architectural decorations which are correct but also inspired and unique.
This is a limestone staircase I did for the interior of a mansion on
Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, just opposite the Metropolitan Museum of
Art. The owners of the building enclosed the roof with a glass ceiling to
make an extra floor. The elevator door was higher than the floor level,
though, so they wanted elegant railings and newel posts to mark the
entry to this spectacular space. I designed the railings with Gothic
tracery support rather than ballusters because it is more interesting. I
made similar smaller railings and newel posts in other areas of the same
building as well as three fireplace mantels - one of these is two pictures
down.
I enjoy the opportunity to learn new things when I research projects.
When I was commissioned to create this sculpture, I got to learn a little bit
about turtles. I visited the American Museum of Natural History as well
as the local pet shop. It is a definite goal of mine to infuse my work with
factual details when they harmonize with the overall design.
After I delighted my client with the turtle above, he requested another
natural sculpture. I designed this lively composition of an interesting
plant covered with frogs, turtles, and salamanders as a fountain. Water
squirts out of the top of the plant.
I am very proud of this portrait bust of a friend. It was one of a series that I
did, initially  working in clay while the subject posed for me. Later, I made
a mold and cast this sculpture in plaster. As a next step, this kind of
prototype can be duplicated in stone or can be cast in bronze.
The creation of cemetery monuments presents a special challenge. I was
privileged to be asked to create one for my friend, Bishop Paul Moore, Jr.' s
wife, and then a few years later for him. I am proud that I was able to
blend a variety of emblems acknowledging various aspects of their lives
into coherent, beautiful compositions in slate.
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This cemetery monument project began with my client’s request to
design something with an angel playing the violin. Sensitivity to the
surrounding monuments dictated that the angel be much smaller than
life-size, which made it impossible to pose the angel actually playing the
violin since a violin bow (even at full-size) would be extremely fragile and
vulnerable to breaking. So my angel is resting his violin and bow. His face
expresses sorrow and pains while the feathers radiating from his head and
his overall presence exude vitality and energy. The base that he sits on
elevates him to an appropriate height and also provides space for an
inscription. Limestone, overall height 6’6”.


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I designed this baptismal font to replace one that was part of the original
church design from the early 1900s which was flawed in that, due to its
location, it was impossible for the priest, baby and family to gather around
and be witnessed by the congregation during the baptism ritual. As with
all my additions, I was praised for creating something which blended
seamlessly with the existing environment and which, to those entering
the environment for the first time, seemed to have always been there.




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This fireplace is the result of a collaboration between the architect John B.
Murray and me. The architectural framework of the mantel had been
established by the time I was brought in. I helped advance the design
process by providing numerous sketches for low relief decorative motifs for
the rectangular panel at the top and the triangular spandrels above the
arch. The architect and client were able to select from among these
sketches and provide input for revisions until a final design was approved.
I went on to actually fabricate the mantel as well as the roundel higher up
on the façade.



Design by John B. Murray Architect, LLC
Fabricated by Chris Pellettieri
Photography by H. Durston Saylor, Inc.
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The design for this gravestone was completely worked out by my client,
an architect, to honor his wife who adored this type of decoration. It was
up to me to translate a full-scale printout of the design into very low relief
carving on slate. The eagle head ornaments on the corners are carved in
the round from marble and mortised into the slate slab.
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This decorative window is on the upper story of an Italian Palazzo-style
residence in Nashville, Tennessee. From the tip of the shell to the bottom
of the face it is about 6’ tall. I designed and carved it in 2005.
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The decoration on this fireplace mantel was inspired by pictures I have
seen in books of church doorways done in Norway during the Romanesque
period. The energy comes from the combination of wide lines and thin
lines winding around and entangling the birds and dog and man. I added
color to the composition by including a red marble mosaic. The rest of the
mantel is limestone. It is about 6’ wide.
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I was honored to be asked to design and carve this fountain for the
Cathedral of St. John the Divine’s Biblical Garden. It was designed to
satisfy a variety of demands. It needed to be tall (just over 6’) but not too
wide, and to provide abundant trickling noises. This effect was achieved
by having the water spill from four points at the top into the basic
midway up and spilling over from that into the ground-level basin.
Finally, it was hoped that it would need less maintenance than the
previous fountain that it replaced. I believe it is a success as everyone
(and every bird) seems to love it.
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These creatures are my interpretation of traditional Chinese mythical
beasts. I enjoyed researching ancient examples and infusing originality
into my own design. The male Foo Dog is usually shown with one paw on
an orb. The female is usually shown with one or more Foo puppies. This
pair lives in a lovely garden in Tuxedo, New York.
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I was commissioned to create this 10’ wide monument marking the spot in
Westbury, Long Island where Charles Lindbergh took off on his historic
flight to Paris. It is outside The Source Mall, just off Old Country Road.
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Pellettieri Stone Carver

114 Morningside Drive, #52
New York, NY 10027

646-229-6418

pellettieri@verizon.net

Website and content
copyright ©  2015 by Chris Pellettieri
Chris Pellettieri, Stone Carver

Specializing in free-hand sculpture, decorative design, portraiture,
casting and lettering for public and private settings


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The Green Man is an ancient and wonderful decorative motif that has been
employed in many, many cultures throughout history.  I love to carve
faces, and I love to carve foliage, so carving a Green Man is a delight for
me.  I perused Kathleen Bashford's book
The Green Man for inspiration, but I
feel that what I created is a very personal and original interpretation of
the theme.  I put a lot of effort into separating the leaves from the
background and creating dark shadowy spaces to make a lively and
energetic sculpture.
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I was honored when the prominent architectural firm, Robert A M Stern,
recommended me to their client, Marist College, as their preferred stone
carver to provide decorative carvings for their new campus gate.  I worked
closely with the president of Marist College and the architects, making
watercolor designs of proposed compositions for the areas that they had
designated for carving.  They selected from the options I provided and gave
me input until finally I had an approved design.  The next phase was to
execute the designs, which I did with the help of an assistant.  This project
is my largest-scale and most prestigious to date.  I am proud of the results.
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