How I carve stone for sculpture for interiors.
Rodin is reputed to have said, ‘I choose a block of marble and chop off whatever I don’t need.’ Indeed this method is often referred to as ‘direct carving’ and I sometimes work in this way, working from my imagination from a piece of stone which I happen to have in stock.
However, my sculpture for interiors are generally all in stone which I carve from specially selected blocks. Over the years I have carved unique pieces in a number of different stones, from Carrara marble to alabaster and limestone. Nowadays I use two English stones for my interior sculpture, both of which suit UK decors. The first is Ancaster limestone, which is from Lincolnshire, and is a lovely creamy colour with subtle slightly dark markings. It looks particularly good in contemporary interiors with natural colour schemes. It is a very ‘reliable’ stone (i.e. it doesn’t break or flake off during carving) and can be finished to a good polished surface. The other stone I use is soapstone from a quarry in Cornwall – this is dark grey/black, often mottled with greens and iron colours. Visually it makes a good contrast to Ancaster. Soapstone is quarried in many parts of the world and some, such as that used by the Inuit people, is very soft, hence its name, and it can be whittled away rather than carved. The soapstone I use is much harder and more durable and can be highly polished. The tools I use include chisels, claw tools, bolsters, rasps, and rifflers, each for a different stage in carving. These can be bought from specialist sculpture suppliers online. It is worth paying for good quality tools as they will last many years and produce the best result for your sculpture.
If you are not already on my emailing contact list, please let me know so that I can send you news and details of my exhibitions. Just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. You are always welcome to make an appointment to visit my gallery and garden to purchase or commission a sculpture.
An Ancaster stone carving depicting two loving figures