Oddysey Calligraphy Conference. Circa 2010.

My journey as a stone carver.

My name is Javier R. Alfonzo. It all began with a Bachelor’s degree in Graphic Design from a College in Venezuela and a RISD CE certificate program in Children’s Book Illustration. However, I quickly realized that my true passion was for calligraphy and I began studying under Jane Parillo-Rollins, a Rhode Island Scribe. In late fall of 2010, I attended the Odyssey Calligraphy Conference, where I took a stone carving workshop under Adam P. Heller. That workshop was a turning point for me, and I knew that I wanted to pursue stone carving as a career. 

In June 2014, I began working full-time as a stone carver at Karin Sprague Stone Carvers under the tutelage of Karin Sprague herself and Tracy Mahaffey, an accomplished stone carver and sculptor who remains my mentor. In that same year, I also embarked on my spiritual journey in the practice of Zen, which has had a profound impact in my life and work. Stone carving is considered a meditative art by itself, thus, I am constantly reminded to be present and aware of what my hands and tools are doing at every moment. I use this mindful state of mind in all my endeavors in life.

Sente (先手, beforehand)

is a Japanese Go term.

That roughly translates to “to have the initiative.” A sente move is a move that the opponent must respond to, something that cannot be ignored. It is a move that gives the player initiative, as the opponent is forced to respond to it, the player with the initiative can gain some profit elsewhere on the board. Basically, in business, a sente move is not always easy to make, but it can be very effective. The key is to make a move that is so compelling that the competition cannot ignore it.

I am that initiative move.

In early spring of 2023, I decided to open SENTE Stoneworks, LLC to further my passion for storytelling and stone, combining the best of both worlds. I believe that stone carving is a powerful medium for communication. It can be used to create beautiful works of art, but it can also be used to tell stories and convey messages that will last for generations to come.

Studying Japanese Go PRO games (Usually from old Masters).

Mission Statement

To bring people’s stories alive through the use of stone.

Vision Statement

SENTE Stoneworks, LLC strives to be recognized as a creative leader in the stone carving industry, bringing to life the stories of people and all of creation.


Quick study of a feather in bas-relief for a large project. Black slate. Aprox. 9″ long.



Being trustworthy is behaving consistently in a manner that attracts people’s trust in you.



The act of being honest. Honesty is a part of several facets that makes one’s moral character, such as, having integrity, being dependable, and showing a high set of principles.



It’s a pledge to give your time and energy to something or someone you believe.



Trust without transparency is blind trust. Being transparent requires trust from you as a leader as well, which makes it a trust multiplier. Being open, clear, concise, without a hidden agenda.



It’s carrying out duties with integrity. It’s accepting what is required and carrying out the task to the best of your ability. Taking ownership of one’s commitments and contentment of having made a contribution.