2 Letters of participants experiences

Dear Rudi,

it’s been a few weeks since I took part in your course in Aschau. In the meantime I’ve been on holiday on a boat trip down the river Havel and the Elbe. I am back now in Berlin and can still feel the effects of the week in Aschau.

In hindsight I can not only see a lot of similarities to life but also in my daily consulting job, in which I help and guide people through difficult changing phases of their lives.

I myself experienced a changing process, both mentally and physically, whilst working on my stone and really got the meaning of it all.

It all starts with taking time and being able to let yourself into doing something with no knowledge about it beforehand and not knowing what is going to happen. To listen to your inner self, to connect to yourself, to feel what is there and to trust that, that something will develop.

I look at “my” stone see the different colour shadings, taking no notice of the time or weather. Understand its uniqueness and stability it represents something that stands the test of time.

I can feel the potential that hides within and the similarities to life surging forward. These too have left their marks……..

Then I go on my journey hammering my route through the mass, experiencing different emotions. Starting hesitantly, feeling the unfamiliar tools in my hands. Sometimes missing with the hammer but soon getting the hang of it.

Suddenly everything falls automatically into place, the feel for it, the journey starts, there is no wrong or right way, it is how it is and it all runs smoothly.

But there are also phases where everything stops. No more ideas, no more input (what am I doing here?). You just have to sit it out and wait this is all part of the process. Instead of carrying on blindly hammering away any old how I take a step back, have a break, drink some coffee and chat to other participants. Look at my stone every now and then from a distance, seeing it from a different perspective with nothing specific in my mind. Then I get a sudden impulse to turn the stone. I view it at a different angle and then I can see the next step to take. Something emerges, my own idea, not something that someone has told me to do (do it like this or try this way). Instead it is my own individual thing, authentic.

Realising that I myself have modelled this stone! In other words speaking metaphorically only I can model my own life nobody else can do it for me.

I would like to thank you Rudi for your support throughout the entire course. You certainly know how to create the right atmosphere and give us enough free reign to get the best out of us. You are very present, you can also take a step back giving us at the same time enough stimulation without being over powering.

I really appreciate your manner not to judge or to interfere.

This is leadership at its best!

From Anette Harms- Böttcher


The stone sculpture course was 3 days ago now in Aschau with Rudi Söllner and I can still feel the effects of it. The title of the course is the programme on offer and at the same time the order of how things are done.



The stone is the main focus of the 3 days. Cleverly chosen material for beginners, finely structured, easy to work on, as it stood on its mound it was never the less very impressive due to its mass, its wonderful colours from beige through to white. It was pretty clear from where it came from with bits of shells trapped in it – from the ocean: Pietra Leccese. One is immediately enthralled by it, it inspires even those who claim to have no ideas, it teaches you how to use tools, gets you into a working rhythm of its own, gentle on your joints and muscles. There is no brittleness to frustrate you and no constant sharpening of tools.  It is denser than aerated concrete and it has amazing stability even though it is delicate. You couldn’t get a better teacher.


There are no set sculptures or ideas it all comes with the first contact you make with the stone. Rudolf Söllner sees participants in three different types of groups – those with no plans what so ever, those who have some round about idea of what they want to do and those who have an exact concept in their minds. But each their own ideas – a lot of them experienced ideas with three dimensions for the first time. There are no requirements to have to fulfil, no set goals or aims to achieve that are unreachable. One just feels as if you are working alone but if you needed help of any sort with technic or design or removing waste stone it was always there.

Fully aware: I design.


Small tools to teach us, large selection of tools, working out in the open air, have breaks if needed, with freshly made coffee and sweet things to promote new energy. Following Rudolf Söllner’s example the participants make contact with each other asking questions and discussing amongst themselves but never judging anyone. This is how the group is built without any standard introductions taking place.  In the break we all talk to each other about our lives and even very personal things. There is not a lot of time for this though because we all have our aims to accomplish our sculpting to concentrate on our work. We experienced feelings of pleasure and accomplishment at the end of our 3 day course. We feel relaxed and even our facial expressions were relaxed.


Very good initial information on the internet website nice description of how to get there and also possible accommodation for overnight stays. This helps you to feel you are in good hands before the course even starts. Rudolf Söllner starts the course with an amazingly short and friendly introduction, with a small foot note to his own biography. The fears of working with unknown technics are taken from you by the unconventional working technic of Alfred Hrdlicka.

It is a bit like the Montessori principle. In a well prepared environment that is adequate for the learner, there is an invisible outer boundary the material as such always plays the main part.

Rudolf Söllner impressed even me, with my lengthy experience as manager of an academy for work and health protection having given hundreds of lectures, with his extraordinary ability to be able to guide us through a learning process without any role model to follow but to support us throughout our experience. To coach us through our individual needs but at the same time always being our leader.

I don’t know if he recognises himself in his work but he would have made a good Lao-tzu’s scholar. The wise one does nothing but nothing gets left undone.

Doctor Bodo Pfeiffer