all what you need to know About stone carving!
Stone carving is the Art of telling a Story in a Block of Natural Stone. The artist discovers the image that has been cover for ages in the natural elements of the stone. With the help of many small carving tools the artist starts his journey in this hard complicate aventure that could take days of months of hard work with a hammer and chisels to uncover the mysterious images that was compressed by time in the middle of the calcium or sand that give the form of the natural rock...
Carved In Stone using Indiana Limestone for the Carnegie Mellon in Pittsburg Fine Art project.
The prehistoric artist has a very difficult time figuring out how to carved in stone The artist probably throw one rock again on another rock and one broke in a fine shape, giving him the idea of a Mammoth that is whathe was thinking and he probably continue strike with a small rock to perfection his piece. His family probably was thinking that he was loosing his brain of he probably was very hungry...
In the beginnings of humanity, most people were illiterate, therefore, Sculpture was used as an element to spread knowledge to strictlyiy in the pedagogical areas on how to explain to others the concepts or events or stories on the icy, straight and attractive way possible.
sculpture will stand for ever
How the Stone Carving Chisels Was Developed True History?
True history the natural stone has been one of the mediums for sculpture, the artist has learned what type of stone is better than others, what will polished better or what colors probably will go well with another and what type of stones will be best for outdoor or indoor projects...
The Art of stone sculpture has declined in the last 80 or 100 years with the new technology probably will continue and is replaced by different materials like epoxy and metals.
Stone Sculpture never could be replaced because the action of creating an image out of simple stone is magical, history has proved since the cave man and today we still attract to this amazing medium the Stone Carving.
Art Will Stan True Time
The art of stone carving has game the nickname of the Lost Art because they are not to many Stone Sculptors in the world the main problem is time and money. Time because everything is moving at a real fast pace and to create a hand carved sculpture it will take weeks or months, so for the customer will not interested in spending that high price for a product that could be replaced by casting or with a simple one that will be more economical...
Also the industry is developing new technologies and learned new ways to create amazing sculptures by CNC, so the need of stone carving has declined and with that the desire of becoming one as well. The stone carving are against the myths of the Lost Art...
But let me tell you how great is to be part of a great status society of stone sculptures. You will have the feeling of the great stone sculptures like the classical, the Renaissance and Baroque artist. They created this amazing amount of work that is standing today in most of the museums in the world. Let's think about the action of transforming a solid cool rock into a beautiful three dimensional image that will fulfill your life and your dreams.
how the great artis of the pass created stone sculpture
The great artist of the past created sculptures in a beautiful white marble they took the time and give all the patience necessary to tell the story in that solid piece of stone, they create this beautiful artwork that will give you the desire to touch to see if someone has petrificate in that stone like in the movies for example Narnia the wicked queen transform her enemies that don't follow her wishes into amazing stone sculptures.
The movie director has the same vision as you when you are standing in front of that beautiful sculpture out marble, Or any type of stone.
For example a sculpture create by the great sculptor Antonio Canova "Ugolino and his Sons" you see the drama of this great piece. The father is in the center and he is surrounding by his son in the midst of waiting for the painful dead. This is a very dramatic sculpture that in a glance will give you all that emotions expressed by Canova with his hammer and chisel. This piece could help us to imagine how this great stone sculpture or composition was petrificated along time ago and Antonio Canova with a hammer and chisels and the art of been a fantastic sculptor descubre the completed scene that is standing right in from of you in the New Your Museum.
Canova transform one simple block of white marble that was cut off of the solid mountain into a jewel to your eyes that will given to you all this emotions and tell you the dramatic story of Ugolino.
That is what and stone sculpture is. Is the imaginative and skillful interpretation of experience in a esthetic object, has played through out history important roles in humanity attempting to master and enjoy they evironments and to liberty themselves.
With this said to be a Stone Sculptor is a privilege that not many people are able to handle...
Ugulino and His Sons
The Best Types Of Stone For Stone Carving
Saint John the Baptist Indiana Limestone Two River Wisconsin
Stone carving is the art of telling a story in a block of natural stone, the artist discovers the image that has been cover for ages in the natural elements of the stone.
How Difficult Is To Carve In Stone
How much hard work it takes to created a stone sculpture?
The new artist want something that could be done in a few days or hours, we are losing the Art of Patience and also to give the best of are self to created something that will stand for ever like the art pieces create by the great sculptor of the pass...
The new artists are not much interesting in a hard work in spending hour with a hammer and a chisel creating a Art piece that could express they selfs to tell to world they story, they don't want to take the time to discovering the images hiding in this rough block of stone.
But better off we could said that new artists don't have the opportunity to learn the art of stone carving. They are not many stone classes available, some are in a private shops and they could be cain of expensive also the artist need to travel or spend money in hotels...
Now true the internet the game has changed and new door are open to learn the lost art of Stone Carving...
How you could learn stone carving?
Now you could learn all about carve in Stone for free and in the comfort of your home and of your time and space.
You want to know all the secrets of the gran masters of how they create amazing stone sculpture that you see in special collectios.
Join me in this Free Video Course of how to stone carving and you will have the knowledge about the materials, tools, and most important how to start carvingin stone...
Stone carving has been part of are culture since the beginning of time is something that we could not avoid.
And the art of stone carving could re-born but we need a few Michael Angelos of Bernini that will take the challenge of go into a bottle with in one hand a hammer and in another a chisel to dominate the heavy and cool stone and bring into a new life that will stand for ever in the mist of the world.
If you don't have the desire or availability to become an sculpture you are one because you are reading this blog about stone carving you have the hart for it, and all the stone sculptor need a person like you to support us and help us in this battle of creating beauty Art out of stone.
carving a Fish in stone
How to carve in stone
Is not that complicated like everyone think is a hard work like I said before but if you study and practice you will able to understand the process.
To carving in stone you are going to need some material of what will be the best for the type of sculpture you going to created.
You are going to need some toos I dedicated a separate blog Pneumatic Stone Tools to give you all what you need to know about this subject and also all in general about Stone Carving Tools special hand tools this second blog will help you have the complete knowledge of all the tools avalible and that best for Stone Sculpture.
This videos below is about all the tools necessary to start carving in stone.
Whach this video and see how the Stone Caring Tools was developed...
Hand Stone Carving Tools
I could be specific how to carve in stone .
Well you need to select the block of stone, some artist they select the block of stone on the stone company, but that is a kind of difficult if you stone suppliers could be miles away, but most of the stone companies they check all the stone before they sale to you, I said this because in past I worked in a few stone companies in Alabama and that was one of the practice to inspect the block or slabs of stone for cracksbefore they are sale.
Things to consider remember that one of the obstacles of stone carving is the weight of the stone for example Limestone could way about 120 lbs per cubic foot, marble around 150 lbs per foot, so you are going to need a fork lift, a craine or like in Michael Angelo time a lot of friends and workers and many horses to pull the stone in place to start carving.
I could mention my fever Sculptos that I study day after day, Michael Angelo, Birnini, Canova. The stand in front of a beautiful block of marble to develop the history to share with humanity true time they believe the moments of expression was the magical way to tell the story of humanity...
As well you need to remember that even this material they are hard like people said is hard like a rock it could breaks very icy I saw in the past a slabs of stone breaking in pieces most of the time is by miss handle so you could injury you self so be careful when is time to move any stone this is very serios business...
Now when we take care of that step less go to the carving process
You going to need some stone carving toolsStone carving tools and techniques you could find out in this bolg.
So you are going to need the design remember that prior you purchase of you stone you have a design or idea so you will know the dimensions of you stone.
Is best to have a clear idea of what you creating you could make a few drawing or even make a clay model when you created a clay model you will resolve all the problems before you start carving of purchase you stone that is why you should make a clay model first even you are studying the pass great sculptor like Antonio Canova he was able to created the amazing hyper realistic stone sculptures out marble by creating a plaster models and copy them into a block of stone using a Point Machine
You could watch this video of what and how to used a Ponit Machine
Pointing Machine is the best tools to transfer your clay or plaster model into your stone block without problems wach this video to learn all about how this device work and how you could make your on.
Now after you wach this video you know what is a pointing machine
A pointing machine is a great tool created to take mesuments out of you clay model into you stone carving, this is play safe when you having a large block of natural stone to create amazing stone sculpture. With the clay model you resolve all the problems like proportion, composition, action and how the sculpture will read to the public, so with this great pointing machine you will able to transfer you model into your stone with out problems but some artist think this is cain of chatting but is not, is you own creation the clay or plaster model are a study to created you master piece is the same when an oil painter created an study of the piece he is going to make.
You could see in the original models of Canova is that the final sculpture will change and become 10 time better so is not chatting is using your resources available to you to created a better Art for generations to come.
canova pointing study
how to transfer your design into the stone
Well now you know all about creating models and pointing machines lest go over how to start carving.
You transfer you design using a pencil or permanent marker, something you could use acrylic paint .To start the best is using a permanent marker don't worry about the surface the marker only penetrate almost nothing and you are going to carve the surface any way..
I used a plastic to make my drawing because they will not destroy be moisture or will not tear apart like paper also you could used the permanent marker to draw you design that is a good practice.
You going to used a saw to cut large section that are going to be removed by your hand set tools.
What cain of saw you need?
Makita 16 Inch Circular Beam Swas. for your Carvings in a Stone or Wood Carvings watch this Video to find out how great it works.
If you have a simple 7 inch cicular saw it will do the job you will need a diamond blade of a mason cutting blade. Remember that the sides of blade will determine how much deep you could cut into your stone, they are many type of hand saw in the market from gasoline power engine to a chainsaw for stone.
You need to ask you self for what task I need this saw for example if you have a large slab and want to cutting straight edge the free hand saw it will be a challenge because you will not able to cut a straight and with 90 degree angle, so the best choice is the circulation saw or other call skill saw is one available that can cut 6 inch in depth and you only need a straight the simple way to created the straight edge is using a 2x4 lumber clampled to the stone in the ends. This circular saw is great for straight edge or free hand cuts.
After you do all you cut of the materials that you are going to remove the excess of stone that you don't need. For this job you need a hand set stone tool this tool will break large chunk out the stone block or slab by striking with a four pouds hammer .
Now you could rough out faster you sculpture by using a point chisel they are great tools they are consider the hard workers because they take care of the big stuff and fast that is the main tool to use for Stone Sculpture.
Hand chopper stone carving tools
Hand Chopper to created straight edges in your stone.
Hand Chooper is a great tool to created strait edge in any type of stone when is strike with the proper size hammer, this type of tool is preferred by most of the stone Mason when they need that nice and clean edge on any job, this stone tools could be used for regular flat stone surface or polished surface.
How to used you applied the stone carving chisels in the smooth, flat surface only so the blade is placed aslighth in angle and then struck with the desire size of the hammer if prefer three to four pounds remember the bigger the hammer is going to transfer more power true the head of your hand chopper and with them you could break bigger pieces or a long straight edge.
Hand Tracer stone carving tools
Hand Traced you will created straight lines in your Stone
Hand Traced Stone carving chisel
Hand Tracer the main function of this tool is to create a straight line across the surface of any type of stone and with the help of the strike of a hammer you will break the desire piece off. Also is used to mark a line across the large stone block to use as a guide to drill the holes for the purposes of split the stone with the used of feathers and plugs, the stone should split following the line from the hand traced stone mason tools.
With this types of hand sets stone carving tools you are able to roughing out faster the big amounts of stone that you don't need in your project, after you remove the most of stone using this type of carving chisels you go to the next type of stone carving tools to work the sculpture surface to the next stage.
Hand Point stone carving tools
Hand Point are the hard working tools you could rough out the entire sculpture
Point Chisels. After you take the most of stone using the stone mason tools now you need to move to the next type of stone carving tools that are the most traditional tools know true the ages of the sculpture techniques. Great artist like Antonio Canova, Bernini, Michaelangelo, they clean the entire sculpture with this type of stone carving tool, by them was not an electric power tools, or fancy grinder or saws to get the job done so this great artists used the Point Tool do the work.
The hand point chisels are the master of the stone
The point chisels or punch is the tool the has the hardest work in the sculpture, you could remove a lot of material fast with the right size point chisels, this mean they come in different sizes from 3/8" to 1". The 1" is a great size because its fist great in your hand and will resist the impact of the four pound stone carving hammer. The best as well is to get as long the manufacture could make it like Trow and Holden by request the make an extra long that work fantastic for Marble or Limestone.
So with the used of the four pound hammer against your point chisels is going to mushrooms the head toward the point, if you are going to use day after day is recommended to get the extra long and purchase more than one because it could break the tip with the hard work and you don't want to way 4 to 10 days to get another one it happens to me...
The point stone carving tools in manufacturer in carbon steel as well in carbide steel the carbide is recommended best for granite but you could used in any type of stone.
The point chisels will give you the chance to sketch the entire sculpture, remember that if is to closed to the finish surface special in white marble will live a white mark called bruising of the stone so you need to dress up in the finish steps of your stone sculpture...
As well you could purchase a pneumatic point chisel for your pneumatic hammer.
True my experiences I used a pneumatic 1/4" hand chisels that I filled with extra braicing to created the shape of a bullet this means changed the straight edge for a real curve bull nose and will break true the stone surface like Limestone or Marble very well.
Claw stone carving tools
The Claw Sone Tool is created to break true the stone surface very well do to many points on the cutting edge
Claw Stone Tools are the cleaning machine you could imagine that they are a mulptiple point chisels together so they break true the stone very good, they are used most after the roug surface created by the point chisels or the had sets...
The Claw Sone Tool
They come in different sizes and styles you could find with a small claw or with a large claw. The larger claw shape they are a fine point that will break true the stone fantastic because due to many points in the edge that will get in contact with te stone. Usually the carbide will resist more hard work than the carbon steel, so the largest and pointed the claws are they will take faster and in large scale pieces of stone, but they will created a rough surface, that is why the next type with less pointed or flat edge will help you to get real close the final surface of your Sculpture.
They are a available for pneumatic hammer, for a steel hammer and as well for a Nylon mallets or wood mallets.
The wood mallets or nylon chisels have a particular head that is round to prevent the chisels from damage the nylon or wood mallet because they have bigger round surface in the head to prevent the damage, you will have some minimum damage with the long period of use that is normal.
This tool comes in different sizes front real small like 1/4" to 31/2" as well, you could purchase these tools in carbon tempered steel or carbide steel usually hold the cutting edge longer and will have a longer life if is used properly because is the carbide is a hard steel but it could break as well, but some manufacturer will guarantee the tools for life.
Flat stone carving tools
Flat Chisels they will created a smooth surface in the stone sculpture that could be the final stage of your project.
Flat Stone Tool are the surface creator it will bring the sculpture to life...
This tool will clean the marks of the claws chisels or point chisels and will give that final lookof your sculpture, You could live your sculpture with the finished of the flat chisels is dependent of what type of stone you working with if is marble or granite you could give a real polish surface using water grinder with the polished pads that they come in different grid from 40 grid up to 4000 or 6000 grid.
This type of chisels are manufacturer in different sizes and they are available in carbon temper steel or carbide.
Some manufacturers will make this tool extra long most in particular the Italians. The flat chisels are made as well to use with the pneumatic hammer, and for nylon or wood mallets.
Bull Nose stone carving tools
Bull nose are design for created any type of curves in the stone surface like a gauge.
Bull Nose stone tools this type of chisels that will replace in wood carving the job of a gauge chisel, but also you could buy gauges for stone carving. For some reason is easy to use the bull nose in stone and is more traditional than the gouge. And the name was given I think because it resembles the look of the bull nose that is flat and round to the side.
These chisels are designed for creating any type of curves on the stone surface, you could use as well gauges, but most of the time is used the bull nose instead of the gauges. They come in different sizes and different curves as well. If you need to create a bull nose you could use a flat chisel and created the arc with the grinder.
They are manufactured in carbon steel or carbide as well.
Gauge stone carving tools
Stone Carving Gouges to create any type of arc or curve on the stone surface.
Stone Carving Gouges they are created for the same type of job as the bull nose to create any type of arc or curves on the stone surface. They are not to many in the market most due to difficulty to produce special to give the carbide the shape of the curve of the gouge so is difficult to find different sizes.
But if you need some the are sculptor that they used a wood carving gouges for stone carving you will lose the sharp cutting edge created from wood carving, but they work very well for stone special soft stones like Limestone...
Fist Tale stone carving tools
Fish Tale stone tools are created with the special cutting edge in the shape of a fish tale, the main purpose is to help clean or work in areas that you need using the corner of your chisels. They are manufactured in different types and styles in claw chisel and flat chisels as well.
They are made of carbon steel and in carbide steel...
Bend stone carving tools
Bend Tools the main purpose is to reach to difficult area were the straight chisels
Bend Stone Tools they are created specially to carve area that needs special reach that is not possible with regular flat or claw chisels, they are not many in the market, but you could make your own by using your torch and heat the body of your tool in the desired spot to be Ben. You need to consider that the temper of your tool is going to be loose so you need to re-temper again, make sure you choose a long chisel to start with.
If you are using carbide they could resist the heat, but don't cool off the chisels after are bending, don't dip in any cool liquid the carbide will break or crack sometimes you will not notice but when you are using it, a piece will come off. This is going as well for sharpening don't cool the chisels in any liquid if the tip of the chisels is Carbide. If is carbon steel you need to dip in a cool liquid if not you will burn or lose your temper edge...
The power chisels like pneumatic air chisels are available in many different sizes and styles, and this type needs an entire block so you get the best information about it. This blog is dedicated to this type of tools click in this link to learn more about Pneumatic Stone Tools where you will find what cain are available and how to use them in this video below.
Pneumatic Stone Carving Chisels are essential for Stone Carving they will make the procces more enjoyable
Types of stone for stone carving
Limestone is a great stone to use. The main ingredient is Calcium carbonate (CaCO3) in the form of the mineral Calcite and it does not affect you too badly but if you are producing a lot of dust all ways wear a mask as well...
This Natural stone is a fantastic stone to create any type of stone sculpture. Is the most icy to work with, and they are fantastic for construction like in building churches or any type of Architecture application also is recommended for any interior design applications like fireplace, counter tops, any ornament carvings and floors.
They are many types available in the market some are softer than others. Also, they are a great variety of colors.
In the USA you will be found
The Indiana Limestone is quarried in three different colors you could purchase Gray this type of natural stone like the name said is a cool gray color is one of the most popular for any Architecture application do with the economic cost.
The Variety Gray is a combination of gray and buff colors so you will find a mix of this type of colors so is not that popular for this characteristic. But is very economical as well.
The Select Buff this is great limestone is more dense and light in color is the best for stone sculpture, you could obtain a smooth surface, but you can't polish it all the surface most all limestone they will not polish. This type is less popular because the price is higher, but for carving is worthy you have to consider the colors if you project is all with Gray you have to see if the color change don't affect the design of the final product...
The most attractive of this type of Limestone is the warm color of a yellow Ocre with a gray mix.
To created a stone sculpture is fantastic do to the soft surface . Some time you have to be aware of cluster or hole, something to keep in mind...
Marble is great to work as well it has almost the same properties of limestone. So is best to take care of yourself just used common sense, especially when you are cutting the stone with a dry saw without water or using this type of tool are the ones that produce the most dust. Air hammers will not produce in that quantity...
The Sandstone has silica in another word the main ingredient is silica, when you are exposed for a long period to a lot of dust it could affect your lungs with a disease call Silicosis, the Lungs are not able to break the dust particles and will affect your respiratory system. So if you are working with Sandstone is a good idea to wear a mask at all times...