You will probably be surprised at how this sculpture turns out!!!
I should explain that I carve stone in cycles as I am also a print-maker. Right now I have some work to do as a print-maker so I am showing you the steps of making a commissioned stone sculpture for someone that I did in 2007.
Did you see the face in it like I did?
Chlorite is still a soft stone but it polishes up to a beautiful black. It can look grayish to greenish before polishing. Keep watching as I show you around the whole sculpture!
This is a beautiful piece of chlorite that I picked from a few different stones out of the same quarry. Chlorite is a soft stone that polishes to a beautiful black. Love it!!! I am very lucky in that most people that come to me for commissions allow me to work with the stone and what I see in it naturally.
This is one side of it and I would like you to look at it and see if you can see what I see. I will start weighing these stones so I can talk about the size and weight. This piece was a little bigger than a breadbox and probably about 25 – 30 lbs.
The journey of this stone sculpture is just at the very beginning. let’s see how it turns out!!!
This is the second side of my stone sculpture finished. Surprise!!! It ended up being an eye instead of a spiral and that’s how this process works when you follow the stone. That is also why it is an exciting process when you are carving because you never really know how the sculpture is going to turn out until the end.
I use a polymerized Tung Oil that I buy at Lee Valley. I have used many different ways of finishing stones but I find that the best finishing for a warmer colored stone is this Polymerized Tung Oil. A lot of oils will evaporate out of the stone and leave it looking like it did before you oiled it but this particular Tung Oil stays in the stone. I don’t like a hard coating on the stone so I brush it on, let it soak in for a few minutes and then I wipe it off so that I don’t mess with the integrity of the beautiful surface. It just brings out the colors that are already in the stone. This is a golden based oil which is why I only use it with warmer stones that are browns, yellows or reds.
I will write up the different finishing options in a later post.
I named this stone sculpture “Harmony” because I was thinking that in this head is a coming together of elements, of the threads of life – the braiding – which to me shows a harmony that was achieved, all threads or elements working together to create inner vision or an inner knowing.
I thought it would be good to show you how I started the other side of this stone carving before showing you the finished version. I saw a braid and a spiral and started to carve it out here in this picture as you can see. I really love this type of stone which is pyrophillite. It is my favorite to carve right now. I know I’ve mentioned this before but really my fav! This braid was tricky for me to carve, so I had to focus on the unders and overs to make sure it worked visually.
Coming up next is the finished version of this side of my stone sculpture.
I am hoping to show everyone on my blog how I see the images in the rough rocks and then how I pull them out so that you can see how I carve stone.
Well, this is how the face turned out. Such a beautiful stone when it is sanded. I usually wet sand to keep the dust down and I start with 220 grit sandpaper and go to about 800 grit. Curious about the other side? Coming up soon!
This is a piece of one of my favorite types of carving stone – pyrophillite. It is a bit harder than soapstone. I use tungsten carbide chisels from Neolithic and a journeyman’s mallet that I purchased at Lee Valley here in Calgary. Can you see what I see?