About the Artists

Rare Earth Art Candle Holders are carved by Susan Zalkind and Paul Hawkins. Over a prolific career spanning nearly four decades, their artwork has become a part of collections the world over.  True masters of form, they are recognized pioneers of contemporary American, abstract, and functional Alabaster sculpture. Known for hand gathering the rarest of colored and translucent Alabasters from the deserts of the American Southwest, their sculpture honors the shape and beauty of each stone they carve. They have two adult children- Zaliah Kahlil (30) and Amber Serene (26)- and live along the Verde River Wilderness near Sedona, Arizona.  Their sculptural artwork can be found on Alabaster.net

Susan Zalkind and Paul Hawkins

We were children of the 60’s and 70’s. We were children of the cultural upheaval, the civil rights, women’s rights, anti-war, drugs, sex and rock and roll movement. The we were free and damned if we were going to get a job movement, do someone else’s work and live predictable lives movement! We were going to invent our lives. We were going to create a whole new world with our whole new vision. And we did.

Susan Zalkind
I grew up in Fall River, Massachusetts – at the mouth of Cape Cod – dreamy summers, vibrant falls, white winters, luxurious springs. I was an athlete, loved the water, belonged to a wonderful Jewish community and enjoyed a life filled with friends, educaton and sports. My childhood was so great that it took me awhile to find my own rudder after leaving my parent’s home. After receiving a BA from Boston University and an M.Ed. From Northeasten University, my spirit was lured to the North San Diego County coast on the wave of ‘California Dreamin’ in the early 70’s.

Every Rose I make and every Candle Holder I carve is an expression of my love of beauty and my love of this magnificent stone – Alabaster. In 100% service to beauty, truth and joy, I now want to share the translucent, transcendent beauty of Alabaster and these hand carved Alabaster Candle Holders with you.

Inspired by the beauty of nature all around me, I am intrigued with bringing forth these images from the stone. Rockforms, faces, fantasy figures, and flowers are recurring themes in my work. Carving a simple shape also holds my fascination. I transform rough stones into simple, elemental forms that soothe the hand, the eye, and the soul. I see my work becoming deeper and richer along with my years and experience. At this point in my life as an artist, with the maturity of my developed skill and aesthetic, I want to work at the top of my form to fully express my artistic vision and to utilize all the knowledge I have acquired with my chosen medium, Alabaster.

by Susan Zalkind

I was raised in the green granite mountains of Vermont. One of my early memories is of my family picking blueberries on the slopes of an abandoned marble quarry. The only thing I have left of those early years is a small piece of white Vermont marble with my initials carved in it. Then there was the small oil painting set my aunt Dorothy gave me for my seventh birthday. Clearly by the time I was seven or eight I knew who I was and what I was about. Then came the great distraction of compulsory education and before I knew it, I was thirty-three and far removed from the person I knew I was.

Stone speaks. As a child, I was fascinated with the deep grooves running across hundreds of feet of granite slope near my home, glacial gouges carving an elemental material. I think of myself more as a stone carver than a sculptor. I enjoy celebrating the material, its form, color, figure, surface.

As an American, I find my aesthetics wrapped up in the same package with functionality. I think that taking the stone carving off its pedestal and bringing it into peoples’ lives where it can be used and enjoyed, helps break the elite art paradigm we have all been so burdened with.

I live in Arizona with my wife who is my creative partner in all ways. Together we have created a life devoted to art and appreciation for our own individual uniqueness. Our philosophy shows up in every work of art we create and share with the public.

by Paul Hawkins