The dusty hands of Gene Reineking are hard at work sculpting.
The Almond, Wis. native is transforming a chunk of stone into a piece of art. Not unlike his latest creation on display in the birds in art exhibit at the Woodson Art Museum, Woodson Art Museum, 700 N. 12th St., Wausau.
"I bend the rules a little bit just to make it a good composition" Reineking told Newsline 9.
And that knack of going with the flow appears to be working. Reineking's 2012 submission of a heron sculpture marks his third year of being in the exhibit.
"I generally don't keep track of time on a piece because the worth that I assign to it generally isn't hours. It's how the piece turns out" Reineking said.
Reineking often depicts Wisconsin birds with Wisconsin stone.
"We live in an area southeast of Stevens Point where there's a lot of small glacial lakes and we get quite a few herons" Reineking said.
The soapstone he favors using comes from Junction City, Wis. But for fellow Wisconsin sculptor Clarence Cameron of Madison, Wis. finding stone to sculpt with isn't quite as easy.
Cameron uses a rare stone that has only be found in a one quarter-mile stretch of southwestern Montana.
His 2012 contribution to Birds in Art is an owl sculpture with a one of a kind color pattern.
"It's made of dendritic soapstone and dendrites are the pattern in the stone … this holds detail better than any stone I've used in the world" Cameron said.
Thanks to deposits of manganese, the stone features hues of blue Cameron blends with carved details.
"You carve a straight line in it and it will look like a straight line" Cameron said.
So whether its stone found beneath our state or across the country, these Wisconsin artists say it's the perfect medium to expresses their talents with.
Birds in Art is on display at the Woodson Art Museum until Nov. 11th. Admission to the museum is always free.
For more information visit http://www.lywam.org/birdsinart/.