Stone Sculpture Techniques

Looking back at some of the stonework I have carved over the years, makes me realise how achieving the mastery of stone carving techniques can liberate but at the same time restrain artistic expression. What mark of a tool is better than another? I was taught to keep sharp edges, straight lines, flat surfaces. Working with templates, straight edges, exact measurements.

Stone Doorway

Stone Doorway in St Maximin. France.Carved most of the stonework. Serge carved the fruit.

I,ve always loved watching a craftsman carve with the minimum of effort, using the correct tool for the appropriate job. The marks left on the material have a beautiful aspect reflecting the rhythm and elegance of movement. I also loved the tool marks of the children that I taught, no preconception or worries. The broken edges, chipped corners, expressed their vitality and energy to create. Each style as valid as the other. The final sculptures telling a real journey of discovery.

Child sculpting

Common Ground Project. DARSET. One of my talented students.

So to keep the freshness of my sculptures I have to unlearn a lot of years of making perfect carvings for certain projects. At least I have the choice, but I would really like to be a bit looser. Leaving certain tool marks, letting the stone talk. It’s easier said than done as its always tempting to overwork a sculpture beyond the rough form. Sometimes it loses its vibrancy.

.I think it was Picasso who said it took him a lifetime to learn to see the world through the eyes of a child.

I think its necessary at times to unlearn to regain that freshness. Seeing the forms and textures anew and having the confidence to stop and move on to the next piece. Lets see if  I achieve this in my next sculptures!  ( Maybe blindfolded?) Any thoughts?


I,d love to get any feedback about my work, feel free to comment.

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