Frans Hilgers

Sculptures in Stone and Wood

My sculpting in stone and wood modestly started in 2002. The first trigger for taking up sculpting came from a former patient, who one year after his successful cancer treatment quit his job as a director of a shoe factory, to start what turned out to be an almost 20-year successful career as a sculptor. Seeing after a couple of years what he was able to achieve was really inspiring. The second trigger came a few years later from the Teleac sculpting course of Kees Verwey, of which I coincidentally saw the last minutes of its last TV repeat in 2002. The option to order a basic set of instruments and some stones together with the videotapes of the complete course got me started. Seeing my first result with a small, coloured piece of soapstone got me sold. With the current easy access to ever expanding internet information and being used to continuous self-study in my surgical profession, I could gradually improve my technique and develop my own organic, non-abstract style. Having several formidable artist friends occasionally advising me was a great educational help, as well.

For me, sculpting has quite some similarities with many aspects of surgery, which makes working in my own studio on intriguing stones and wood samples a great compensation for my former professional craft. Another similarity with surgery is that you have relearn to look with your hands, something we have been "cured" of as children to make us socially "acceptable". I prefer to work with stones of which I know the site of origin, and with respect to (Dutch) wood, I like to know the site it has been growing. Inspiration I draw from the forms of the stone or wood itself and/or from occasional sentimental observations in my surroundings ……..

On April 7, 2019, a huge, blazing fire completely burned down the building where I had my studio and destroyed 25 of my sculptures (30 items) and all my stock of stones and wood, instruments, power tools and all other technical equipment …….

Last update April 29, 2019 - For general website, see