There is a process to stone sculpting. After we talk to the stone or it talks to us, we are ready to remove material to release the sculpture. Simplified, the process and tools are as follows:
ROUGH OUT: We use point chisels and/or the largest reasonable diamond blades on angle grinders to remove larger sections. Tools - hammer and manual point chisel (or air hammer), 5", 7" or 9" diamond blade.
SCULPTING: Now that the form is beginning to show, we use tooth and flat chisels to “feel” the stone and develop the shape. Tools - hammer and tooth and flat chisels.
REFINING: With smaller chisels and grinding tools (like burrs) we can get a lot more detail and clean up rough spots on the surface. Tools -
FINISHING: Rasps and sandpaper allow us to remove chisel and other scratch marks. This is where the beauty of the stone starts to show through. Tools - Flat and shaped rasps, various grinding stones, silicon carbide sandpaper.
SEALING: Sometimes we may want to protect the finished piece from weather, fingerprints or other detractors. We can also deepen colors of the stone with enhancers. Tools- Indoor and outdoor sealers, color enhancers and non-yellowing waxes.
DISPLAYING: Many times a piece looks much more impressive if it is framed - mounted on a base. This requires careful thought of sizes and colors, drilling and then gluing the pieces together. Tools - Wood, stone or metal base, drill bit, epoxy glue.