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  • #16
    Originally posted by NoDNA View Post
    oh, and no capital letters here , after spending some time in europe i cannot even think of doing . and stone workings..
    Stonework is for the insane only in my book of opinions, you want to talk about breakage one wrong hit, and the stone cracks like an egg. Had one class in it...I did a simple modern work and it was a nightmare. But I never forget this one guy in my class, he kept knocking off big chunks of his work off...and we had to make something else out of the piece of stone and not quit....and he gets working on it again weeks into it, make something else and next thing you knew another piece knocked off....all of us really felt sorry for him. And this happens five then we were hiding ...all he had left was this small stone which he punched in some dents in it,...when the instructor asks,_"What is it?" He said... trees and threw the stone tools across the room and he quit art school, never to be seen again. It was sad...
    Last edited by DiLeon; 07-15-2021, 04:29 PM.
    . Explore! Dream! Discover!” aloha Di


    • #17
      I used to have some art history textbooks. No idea where they are now.
      What I do recall reading was a stone carver's "trick." They would mix up a very hard paste of wax and stone dust to fill in the "divots" and make repairs to an otherwise smooth surface. There's a word used in English, comes from the Italian, loosely translated, it means "no wax," that the work is genuine.

      Now every time I see a stone work like that, I wonder how much of those surfaces are really as smooth as they appear in very flat lighting.

      I'll bet the guy had "learned the stone" and picked out an ideal piece. If he bombed a few starts, they never saw the light of day.

      To try some stone, pick out some Brazilian steatite soapstone. Comes in various greens and browns, a few uncommon pinks. You can cut it on a band saw, you can carve it with a screwdriver. Stone tools, like wood tools make the work a lot easier. Alabaster is almost as soft, leave the Serpentine until next year.

      You'll love this:
      I bought a block of steatite from LeeValley, it was one of several in the store. Using a model to work from, I decided that I would carve a frog. Used a quite new handsaw for the rough out, no big deal.
      One cut was really slow going, like I wasn't getting any "bite" from the saw. Turned out to be a hidden band of pyrite crystals that took the sharp edge off every tooth on that saw. Oh well.

      I bought 50-60 lbs with the grand intention of carving a kudlik/quilliq (Inuit soapstone lamp for heat, light and cooking.) It's still outside my back door. Did a stone carving class, did a nice turtle and have not lifted a comb chisel since. I went to learn the finishing process. The actual carving is quite the same as wood. Very good instructor, an experience I highly recommend to everybody as "something new to try."

      There are steatite soapstone deposits in every province and territory of Canada. Inuit soapstone carvings, particularly the big ones, are magnificent. I have one that sits on my dining room table. A man, a woman, working outside an igloolik with an ice block window, a dog and a sled. One piece.
      But the only soapstone that I have ever found to buy is all Brazil.

      Brian T


      • #18
        Grinling Gibbons could not have personally carved all the carvings attributed to him. He had a studio full of assistants to do the acanthus leaves, grape clusters, etc. Even so, the standards were set very high. Consider for a moment, that sandpaper was not invented until long after his death.


        • #19
          Unbelievable and as you say… very humbling. There would be a lot of screaming in this house if I even attempted such a masterpiece. That lace. I’d have a box of crumbles. Very inspiring though. Anyone know anyone who could teach how to carve lace?
          My Website:


          • #20
            Sandpaper. The first iteration might have been what was called "glass paper."
            Crushed glass set in glue on paper. "Oh, have we invented cheap paper yet?"

            Prior to that, somebody figured out that Equisetum sp. (aka 'horsetail' these days)
            was very abrasive, that handfuls could be used other than cabinet scrapers for smoothing wood surfaces. The plant deposits silica crystals, glass-like, throughout the green parts of the plant.
            Dried, those became known as "scouring rushes" in that day and time.

            Woodworking trivia that you never knew that you didn't really need to know.

            What do you polish marble with? A wet rag and a handful of sand?
            Brian T