A sculpture symposium on the Saint John waterfront is not just for master sculptors as it was in 2013 — this year beginners are also able to learn the art of soapstone carving.

There was so much interest at last year's symposium, getting the public involved was essential, says Diana Alexander, the executive director of Sculpture Saint John.

"It's been a lot of fun and it really has given people a real good taste of what it is to be a sculptor," said Alexander.

Ingrid Van Den Hurk, an instructor, says teaching next to the symposium has its benefits.

"With that, it's eight weeks of dust, noise and a lot of work. And here, at the end of the day, with no experience they actually come to full circle," she said.

Sue Davis took her first class two weeks ago and returned for more.

"I was really loving every moment of it and there were times where I said, 'There's no turtle in this rock.' But [the instructors] sure helped me find it," said Davis.

Regardless of how her next piece turns out, she's ready to buy some tools to continue sculpting on her own, says Davis.