Daniel Biehl
Slate Carvings Since 1986

On this page you can view images of slate carvings from the past twenty years or so.
Try it - it's easy!

Image of carving on roofing slate of a lyre player riding the back of a tortoise.

Untitled, 1986

Collection of Michael Sharber

An early slate carving, the subject of which occured to me in a dream. Many months later while traveling in Paris, I saw the same subject represented in stencilled spray paint on the stone walls along the Seine. I don't know what the significance of the image may be.

Image of carving on roofing slate of a walking male figure with large bird on his head playing pipes.

Untitled, 1986


A carving on purple Vermont slate dating from the time after I returned to Ohio to visit family after travels in Europe and West Africa.

Image of slate carving depicting female winged sphinx in repose.

Theban Sphinx, 1989

slate in plaster
private collection

A carving in blackboard slate near the beginning of a series exploring the mysteries of these questioning semi-mythical beings. The sphinx demanded that we recognize ourselves in the young and in the old and decrepit. These beautiful beings became the monsters of our collective subconcious, much as any god we worship can become our greatest fear, or the beautiful princess may become the evil queen. Our illusions of desire must be incredibly tedious to longer-lived beings who have seen it all before.

Image of slate carving depicting solitary huddled figure.

Aloneness, 1989

private collection

A carved blackboard from the series completed for a 1989 exhibition at WCET Gallery in Cincinnati, Ohio. These pieces do best with a raking light source.

Image of numerous oared vessels with eyes full of belligerent males.

Hell of Oars, 1989

Collection of John and Susan Wartenberg

This piece was inspired by a fresco from I think the fourteenth century at the Pallazzo Publicco in Siena. That piece depicted a glorious crusade.

Image of a large slate carving depicting a seated female smelling a daffodil.

Eulalia, 1989


Image of a woman seated on the edge of a pool touching the surface of the water with her hand.

Hot Springs Patroness, 1991

Collection of Howard and Marjorie Feldman

Image of slate carving with head and hands of figure in profile in the foreground, whispering head in background.

Exploding Myth, 1989

private collection

Image of carving on blackboard slate of an angel with bugle and sphinx.

None at Midnight, 1990


I experimented with puncturing the material, which is only 5/16 or 3/8" thick, and maintaining the illusion of depth created by the shallow relief carving. I made this piece at the Pea Cannery studio I shared with Taylor Mott in Bozeman, Montana.

Reverse of above.

None at Midnight (reverse)

Image of large slate screen in process.

Slate screen in process, 1991

This relatively ambitious blackboard carving, 42 inches wide, was a response to the prospect of the first Gulf War in Kuwait. Though slate has huge laminar strength, it broke when lifted improperly. I used the pieces for various other applications.

Image of a long horizontal black slate carving with various organic forms.

Protean Hero, 1992

Collection of Mark Patsfall Graphics

This carved slate mantlepiece was inspired by Stephen Jay Gould's book, Wonderful Life. Though some of his conclusions have since been debated and/or refuted, he presented a fascinating tour of the creatures represented in the Burgess shale formation from the "Cambrian explosion." I made this right after my daughter was born and survived daunting challenges to her existence. She will forever be my greatest hero.

Image of slate carving representing winged dachsund

Perpetual Companion, 2006


In tribute to Jack Fisher, Jr., 1956-2006