A sculpture has been an integral part of the ancient world heritage since time immemorial. It is an expression of the society that creates them. Be it the famous statue of liberty, or the great temples across India, all these structures speak of the different art forms and historical stories with utmost creativity.
A sculpture is basically the carving of different kinds of stones and melding them into the desired shapes and structures. However, it is not an easy task, as a stone is a very hard material and giving a shape to it requires a lot of patience and precision.
Here Are Some of The Steps to Follow for Stone Carving
#1. As a beginner in stone carving, one can start with soapstone, which comes in a variety of colours as well. It is soft and can be carved even with little force. However, it is important to note that some soap stones are injurious to health as it contains asbestos.
#2. Use of alabaster to enhance the durability and malleability. It can be carved without the use of tools also. Limestone can also be used in its place, but it is not available in a wide range of colours.
#3. Hard stones like granite and marble must be strictly avoided by beginners since they require electric tools to shape them. Apart from that, you cannot make the products with such hard stones with your DIY tools and they are fragile too.
#4. It is advisable, to begin with, a small piece of stone, as bigger ones will consume more time and labor. Once, you gather the experience about natural stone curving you can go to the next level and use some hard stones.
#5. Since stones are natural materials, they are very likely to have cracks and other defects. So, while choosing to work with one, one must have a close study of it. It is better to get the training about stone curving from trained professionals and always start your curving works under proper supervision.
The Second Step of Stone Carving Is Collecting the Appropriate Tools
#1. Wear a mask to protect your nose from the asbestos and silica emitted by the stones.
#2. Protect your eyes with a pair of goggles.
#3. Use of appropriate gloves, especially if a large piece of stone is being carved.
#4. Good quality equipment of proper size is mandatory, such as hammers, chisels, and files.
#5. Use a sandbag to rest the stone while working on it. The sandbag should be filled with inexpensive cat litter instead of sand.
The Third Step of Stone Carving Is Getting Started in Carving the Stone
- Locate the direction of the bed or grain on the stone. It can be easier if the stone is wet, as it allows for a better view of the lines and patterns on the stone. Stone carving is to be done along these lines.
- Draw your patterns and designs on the rock with the help of a crayon, marker or even a chalk pencil first.
- It is advisable to hold the mallet in the dominant hand, chisel in the other, and begin the stone carving. Hold the chisel very firm and be very careful with the hammer to avoid any accidents.
The Final Touch
#1. Filling is the best way to detail and in smoothing out the chisel marks.
#2. Use epoxy (special glue) to keep the pieces of stones that are intended to be preserved.
#3. Use sandpaper to give your stone the final and polished look.
Even after being one of the oldest forms of art, sculpture is still occupying a special and respectable position in the world today. The sculptures around the world are evidence of the rich culture and heritage that humanity has ever witnessed. So, pick your stone and let your imagination give it life, for, it is art that has always stood the test of time.