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Carving Deep Dive

The photos below show what was happening as the work progressed. This was the first time I captured the process along the way. I'll try to do more of this in the future.

Each thumbnail image is a link to a larger version of the same picture. Click on one to view the full size image. There are navigation links associated with each full size picture too, so please look around.

raw stone picture This images shows the raw stone as I stored it for several years before carving it. Note that the color, while gray, is not obviously the richly veined color of the finished piece. It wasn't until I turned this stone upside down from the view shown here that I realized what the carving needed to be.

raw stone picture The raw stone on its side, showing the thickness and what little layering is visible without polishing - or water.

carving in process Initial shaping is getting started. You can see I've used both flat and toothed chisels on the piece so far. The white paint that looks like "10" is part of the stone's weight that was painted on it by the stone yard where I bought it.

carving in process Initial shaping continues. You can see that I've also smoothed some of the stone down where I've carved it here. I was probably trying to get an idea how the stone polished and how much work I wanted to do with sanding tools as opposed to chisels.

carving in process Power tools have now been used. An abrasive disk on my angle grinder turned out to be a very useful tool for this stone. I used it to achieve the rest of the basic shaping. This photo is - obviously - taken about half way through getting that basic shape.

carving in process The other side of the stone after using power tools on half of the piece.

carving in process Final shaping is about complete now. The angle grinder made much faster work of this piece. The remaining indents and the last of the shaping work will be done with hand files.

carving in process The other side once power tool work is finished.

carving in process Another view when power tool work was complete, showing the thinner end of the stone.

carving in process This shows the stone, after power tools are done, but before hand files are used and before any polishing is done. However, to show the color somewhat better, I've gotten the stone wet. Note how the color is more distinct here, but still much lighter than it is in the final piece.

carving detail A close up of the wet stone. Again, note how light the color is compared to the final, polished stone. Here you can also clearly see the abrasions left behind by the angle grinder.

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