The Artistic Process of Sculpting in Stone: From concept to completion.
A video of this process is in development.
The conceptual phase. The art designer will select a subject and begin rough sketches for the proposed figurative design. A preliminary clay small mock-up is then fashioned. This three dimensional clay model is then reviewed for the desired effects. If it is approved, then a full scale clay model is crafted. After final adjustments are made, a life size fiberglass replica is cast.
Selection of the raw stone and the "roughing out" stage. The sculptor accompanied by skilled stone craftsmen review the stone blocks at the chosen quarry. The slab, be it marble or granite, is studied to see if it is an appropriate match for the specific project: its size, coloration, the degree of graining, veining, etc. Further, traditional techniques of testing the integrity of the material are performed, such as, "sounding" the surface while listening for a clear ringing tone indicates there is minimal chance of interior fissures, along with the "watering" of the raw stone will further reveal if there is "invisible" cracking.
The developmental phase of shaping the stone. Next, there is a planned progression of "working" the selected solid block of stone guided by the nearby life size fiberglass model. This involves manually held power tools to rough shape and dimension the marble or granite. The creation site now resembles a construction project with a myriad of stone shards amassing around the base. After several weeks, the final form begins to gradually emerge, as a progression of finer and finer stone carving tools, a combination of both power and manual, are skillfully used manually by the sculptor and artisans.
Completing stage: As the stone takes on the shape of the life size model, the team utilizes finishing tools to carve the final refinement of features and desired surface texture.
The sculpture is ready for the installation site.
A final word. The professional sculpting team, although they are immersed in labor intensive and hazardous work, do not lose sight that they are involved in a creative process that will yield a sacred work of art. It is a continual source of joy that their sculpture will bring a community to a common focal point of timeless spiritual beauty becoming a lasting legacy of a shared spirituality.
Though the toil of our hands is now complete, our spiritual task continues as we pray that the Spirit may use these art forms of beauty as healing instruments of His grace.
© 2012 T.A.S.A., all rights reserved.