Article By The Stone Sculptor
Selecting Sculpting Stone
For first-time stone sculptors, I recommend starting off with a relatively small stone, weighing 10-20 lbs. The soft types
of stone such as soapstone, alabaster or wonder-stone are the easiest to carve with hand tools. Soapstone is generally
the softest and easiest type of all; it is composed primarily of talc, which is also the main ingredient in baby-powder. If
you would like more information on the properties of various types of sculpting stone, take a look at Neolithic Sculpture
Supply’s “About Stone“, page. You should look for stones that have don’t have any unhealed cleavage lines (cracks), in
it. These are sometimes hard to spot, but, if a stone has many angular irregularities or protrusions, it is often a clue that
it may be cracked. Another way to tell is by striking the stone with a hammer; if the stone is solid, it will ring like a bell, if
not it will be more of a thud. However, this technique only works with harder stones such as marble.
Setting-up a Studio
Once you have your tools and stone you will need a place to work. Sculpting stone is quite messy; a great deal of dust
and/or mud and debris is created. So, it is not practical to work in your home. A wired and heated garage works well, if
you don’t need to keep your vehicle in it. If you do not have a suitable building, you may have to start out in your
backyard or driveway. (My first sculptures were all carved outside.)
You will need a sturdy table or workbench that is of a comfortable height to work at. For smaller sculptures, under 300
lbs, sandbags are helpful for holding the stone steady while you work on it; these can be made by tying-off the ends of
an old pair of pants and filling them with sand.
The ideal studio would have plenty of room, ample lighting, have heating and air conditioning and have running water. It
would have three-phase electrical service, an overhead crane, a good ventilation and dust collection system, a loading
bay and drainage pits built into the floor. It would be an added bonus to have an area to use as a gallery to display your
finished artwork. Eventually, l hope to acquire a studio with all of these features.
What do you think about The Stone Sculptor? Are there any suggestions Maurice left off the list?
If you enjoy Pluginin to Support™ and the information we provide please sign up as a subscriber today! Thank You.
Let us know your thoughts and comments.
Pluginin to Support™ © 2011 Pluginin. All RIGHTS RESERVED Mentoring Today’s Emerging Artist.
Follow us on Twitter @Pluginin
Join our Facebook Fanpage: Search for Pluginin to Support