By James Raia
Chris Miller began carving nearly 45 years ago. A sculptor who lives in Maples Corner, a hamlet outside Calais, Vermont, Miller works in granite, wood and marble, and his creations are featured in private collections and sculpture galleries.
It all gets its share of acclaim, including one of his most unique creations – a stone truck.
Miller’s truck sculpture was inspired by a stone creation of a Volkswagen Beetle built in Ithaca, New York, in 1976. It’s also an homage to an automotive phenomenon.
According to the sculptor, abandoned vehicles are prevalent throughout the Northeast. Sometimes they share nature with overgrown weeds. Sometimes, the vehicles carry a beautiful patina, complemented by wildflowers.
Miller’s stone vintage truck was built in 2012. It was created in five weeks after Miller launched a Kickstarter campaign with a goal of $2,500. He received $3,200 from 85 backers. The truck attracts visitors from several states.
According to his bio on www.chrismillerstudio.com, Miller is primarily self-taught, although he studied art in college. He also studied anatomy and sculpture with the late Lothar Werslin of Sandgate, Vt., and drawing and anatomy under Billy Brauer of Warren, Vt. He’s collaborated with several stone sculptors in nearby Barre, Vt.
There’s a lot involved in making a true-to-size stone truck. Miller’s piece included 8 loads of quarry stone, 2 pallets of bluestone, a marble tailgate and big chunks of granite. The truck weighs about 40,000 pounds.
Miller’s stone truck and his long-time career are also discussed in detail in a 30-minute episode of The Weekly Driver Podcast.
Although Miller’s truck is his only current automotive artwork, he recently traveled to several states on a camping trip while seeking inspiration. He forwarded an image of a truck he observed in Georgia. He also has a pending commission for a new stone vehicle, the details of which he promises to share soon.
James Raia, a syndicated columnist in Sacramento, California, publishes a free weekly automotive podcast and electronic newsletter. Sign-ups are available on www.theweeklydriver.com. He can be reached via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.