STONE SCULPTURE MATERIALS

Working With Marble

I enjoy challenging the notion that marble sculpture belongs solely to past eras. 

For instance, many people only associate this classic material with the untouchable artifacts, saintly statues, and somber monuments found in history museums, old churches, and ancient cemeteries -- I like creating marble artworks that reflect more modern times, are a bit more whimsical, and can be enjoyed in the home, garden or gallery. 

And where the sculptures can be closely admired since I believe that stone art, especially marble, provides a unique tactile experience. 

Working with Soapstone, Alabaster and Limestone

Working with soapstone, alabaster and limestone provides me with several advantages, as these rocks are softer than marble (which has a hardness of 6 on the Mohs scale). I can carve them easier using standard steel tools (rather than carbide-tipped ones) and sand them faster using ordinary sandpapers.

I get most of my soapstone (Mohs = 2) from a local, long-abandoned quarry and nearby streambed. Other soapstone I use is imported from South America. Due to the various minerals that make up soapstone, a variety of colors and unique patterns are revealed once the stone is polished. 

Alabaster( Mohs = 3) also displays a variety of colors. In addition, it can be translucent. However, alabaster cannot be obtained locally and has to be imported from the Western USA.

 

Limestone (Mohs = 4) is not as colorful as soapstone and alabaster. However, it can hold great detail and fractures less than other materials -- making it a wonderful material to carve.

THE PROCESS

A typical stone carving project lasts months, as progress is gradual. Major steps include design, carving, detailing, and surface finishing.

Tools include a hammer, chisels, files, sandpapers and polishing compounds. Small power tools are utilized when required.

It helps to have a well-ventilated, dedicated space in which to work. Safety equipment includes a dust mask, eye protection (goggles), and work gloves.

OTHER ART 

In addition to stone sculptures, my artistic portfolio includes holograms, fused glass, and digital graphics.
(Note: Holograms are displayed on an affiliated website.)

© 2020 Alan Rhody Arts