Hi, Kern here again. I know that it seems as if I have been gone a long long time, because I have. I have another passion blog that gets a lot of my attention, as does my 11 month old son. My Dad asked me how I find the time to do all of these activities, and truth is, I do not know.
With that said stand by for images and videos of my step by step sculpting job that I have just started.
So, here we are. The fall is upon us, and summer is all but behind us. This is mess making weather, and a mess I am a making. I am making a lot of dust. I am happy. Please join me!
I have not ever sculpted alabaster stone before. Boom! I will detail my journey, right here on this blog, so please subscribe right now.
I do not want you to fall behind as I go through the process, hence the subscribe now call to action. Each step is important, or so I think! I have done quite a few carvings and sculptures so I have some experience, and lots of great tips to share with you.
Today is a "tip share day", so here we go.
First of all, sculpting alabaster stone is unique and then again not unlike other stone. You use the same techniques, but the sculpt goes differently, that is all. It seems to be a more solid stone than (lets say) soapstone, and it sculpts slower too. That is ok though as soapstone is terrible. Why is it terrible? Glad you asked.
Next, and before we get too far, using some of the links that I have placed in some of my posts will allow me to keep a small piece of the sale, if I make a sale. Please use my links before you shop on Amazon. That really is helpful as I am a disabled American Veteran, and each nickel is accountable. So, if you are shopping on Amazon, please use any of my my links before you start shopping. Thanks for that! Thanks a lot!
Tip#1) Soapstone is toxic as dust. Soapstone will break apart on you, when you least want it to. It is a semi hard stone, and there are pieces of other substances in it, and they will chip away as you sand on it. Please, stay away from Soapstone.
Tip#2) You will want some sand bags. I like to use this kind Polypropylene Sand Bags with Tie.These hold your work (stone) in place as you work (grind and chisel) it. Plus, you can use them to better prop up odd shapes of stone, again, as you work them. The more durable the fabric (of your sand bags), the better. Stay away from the way more expensive photography and video/film sand bags. They are fancy, and not for getting all dirty. Making your own sand bag is a common route.
Tip#3) I know that you have eye protection and a dust mask on account of the grinding, but consider hearing protection too. The grinding of alabaster is loud, and it has a pleasing, but high pitch ring to it. This gets old quickly.
So, after purchasing the alabaster stone last fall, I finally decided to lay out my tools, and make the stone more "workable".
What I mean by "workable" is that I like to grind away all of the rough exterior, and make the stones smooth. This way, I can write and/or draw on the stone. The idea is not to remove a lot of material, but to smooth out the stone. I use an electric grinder for this job.
Tip#4) I only spent like 20 or 30 dollars for the Black & Decker 7750 4-1/2-Inch Small Angle Grinder, and a few dollars for the grinding wheel. I am not going to be heartbroken if it does not outlast the sculpting job at hand. If I decide to do more sculpting of alabaster stone in the future then I will get a better quality grinder.
I usually like to buy my tools only once, as they say, and buy the right tool for the job first. However, I may not sculpt alabaster again, and I may forever stick with carving wood. I will mark up the price of the finished piece by 30 bucks if that is the case, just to get my grinder money back. Do not tell anyone, OK?
The next steps are figure out what is hiding in the stone, and draw it on the stone. Then I will start to shape the alabaster stone with the grinder, a Dremel Rotary tool with some stone grinding attachments, and some stone sculpting tools that were given to me. I will get into those tools, in a lot more depth, with some videos.
These tools, however, are (Stone Carving Set Has 9 Tools In A Convenient Roll-Up Pouch) stone sculpting chisels, rasps, files, and hammers. I have single point chisels, all the way up to five or six point chisels. I have all sorts of tools and techniques to share with you, in the near future, with lots of images and some videos too. I hope you subscribe right now, and follow along with me!
So now, once grinded down, the alabaster is smooth. I can next figure out what to sculpt and draw that on the stone.
Tip#5) I draw on stone with all sorts of things, but not a pencil or a sharpie. Pencils will carve into some stones since they are made with graphite nowadays. Plus, pencil is rather hard to see in some stones. Sharpie will often "soak" into some stone, and it is messy. You just cant erase a sharpie, right? I will use chalk, soapstone pieces and crayons too. Wax is perfect for the job, and with an 11 month old son in the house, crayons are everyplace!
Thanks for stopping by today. If you subscribed you will now get my blog posts as emails, so please keep an eye out for those posts. I wish I could tell you in advance when that might be, but you know how art work is, right? Please feel free to add your comments to this blog, wherever you want to! That lets me know that others are enjoying what I type.
Please, and once more, using some of the links that I have placed in some of my posts will allow me to keep a small piece of the sale, if I make a sale. Please use my links before you shop on Amazon. That really is helpful as I am a disabled American Veteran, and each nickel is accountable. So, if you are shopping on Amazon, please use any of my my links before you start shopping. Thanks for that! Thanks a lot!