Tag Archives: stone

Dedo Gargoyle Fail: Maybe It’s Not So Bad After All

11 Apr

Maybe the massive chunk (lower right here) that fell off my alabaster Dedo Gargoyle wasn’t such a catastrophe after all– just a flesh wound, really. Still, it’s off to the back burner with him until some future idle Saturday afternoon.

Bisque-Fired Star & Moon Faces

9 Apr

This is a moon face and star face that just came back from a first firing. I’ll use a pale blue underglaze for the moon, maybe shading it with some darker indigo. A I’ll use some yellow with the star, then cover with a perly-clear glass glaze. Gotta use a light touch, or previous glazing disasters will have been for naught.


Yes, Its Marbleness

2 Apr

I went over this sculpture with some very rough sandpaper (#40) to learn how best to remove chisel marks and bruises. It’s really no harder than working with a very hard wood. So I often become aware as I work that some old muscle memory from my woodworking days is kicking in. It feels good. It’ll be a chore to refine the spheres here, then a joy to polish the thing to a bright shine. Meanwhile, there’s a fresh block of alabaster in the yard with my name on it.

Texture Coming Into View

31 Mar

As the shape of this sculpture comes gradually to the surface, I filed away some of the chisel marks to get an idea of how I’ll eventually do the surface texture. It might be neat to leave strategic areas rough, bit I doubt I’ll be able to resist the temptation to make it all completely smooth and luscious.

Third Direct Sculpting Session

30 Mar

The shape of this abstract sculpture is becoming more evident. I’ve just learned that this is called “direct sculpture,” where you make it up as you carve the stone, instead of reproducing a clay or wooden sculpture in stone. In addition to learning how the hammers and chisels work, I’m learning that you reach real physical limits after a couple of hours in ways you don’t with clay or painting. It’s easy to get tired and careless after two hours.

Refining the Shape

14 Mar

In a third carving session today, I refined the shape  little, always thinking about the next intermediate shape on the way to completion.

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Now in Marble

12 Mar

Now that my pink alabaster sculpture is in the shop for repairs, I’m starting on a new one, this time in harder Italian marble. This rock has an even more irresistible, glacier-like translucence that makes it a joy to carve. It’s quite hard, though. The chisels lose that satisfying “bite” after an hour or so of work.

Day Three

10 Mar

During a third stone carving session, I focused on refining the rough shape and learning which chisels do what jobs. I made it a little more perpindicular with slightly more symmetrical volumes. The next step will be cutting out the profile and silhouette more exactly.

Day Two

9 Mar

After two carving sessions, this sculpture is showing tantalizing hints of taking shape. It’s alabaster with an impurity that left it with a creamy, pale, layered raspberry color. That’ll come out in the final polish.

Love at First Sight

9 Mar

This changes everything! I got hold of some stone chisels, a soft iron hammer and some blocks of alabaster and marble. I couldn’t believe how easy, simple and doable stone carving is. It’s the opposite of the esoteric, intimidating medium I’d thought it was. So far, it’s like carving hardwood, but with far less fussing about tools/sharpening. My ingenious new plan is to make something in clay, then do it even more carefully and meticulously in stone.

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