I've been taking a stone carving class/workshop with Walt Hermann at the Columbus Cultural Arts Center for the past few years. I have been really enjoying it.
<click on the pictures for a larger image>
This was my first project. It took me 9 3-hour classes to create it.
This is done in Soapstone which we bought in Castleton, Vermont, over the summer.
For my next project I tried carving a field stone I found near our house. It was classified as a "glacial erratic". Unfortunately it turned out to be mostly quartz and was too hard to carve. I gave up after pounding on it for about 6 hours. Then I did some experiments trying to make small objects - beads, dragonflies, and the like. I didn't have as much luck as I'd hoped.
I started this project with a small piece of soapstone purchased at Woodwerks in Gahanna, I installed a clock from either Woodcraft or Klockit, I can't recall. This probably took me about 8 hours to complete.
I really like working with Soapstone. I had another piece of the Soapstone we'd obtained in Vermont. So, I started this project during the week before Christmas with the intent of donating it to the First UU church for their annual auction. It is my take on the UU"s Flaming Chalice logo. It is about 7 inches in diameter and took between 25-30 hours to complete. It sold for $160.
Liam asked me to carve him a penguin. I made this father-son sculpture out of Alabaster which I got at Woodwerks (back when they used to sell a limited amount of stone for carving). It took several months to complete.
After finishing the penguin, I started work on a project for Willow. In the middle of working on that project I took a break for a few weeks to experiment with a sample of Squak Stone, which is a man-made cement material. I am not sure what I was doing but somehow ended up with a relief carving that kind of looks like me. Although it was easy to carve, it was filled with voids, and a wholly unsatisfactory experience. I colored it with water based wood stains. It took me 3 classes (6 hours) to carve it.
Willow asked me to carve her a dragonfly. For some reason I decided I'd rather carve a violin. I used a piece of Indiana limestone salvaged from an old schoolhouse windowsill. I decided I liked the varied textures in the carving, and so only polished the chin rest and fingerboard. Then instead of a scroll and pegs, I went with a female bust with fairy wings. It took some getting used to carving limestone (which is the most popular material among my fellow carvers at the Cultural Arts Center). This project took me about 6 months to complete.
This is a "heart shaped"Ball In A Cage in soapstone.
This is carved from a piece of Brazilean Soapstone which I got for Christmas 2009.
The clock is from Stiles and Bates in the UK.
This was another experiment, I tried carving a water softener salt block. They are very inexpensive, non-toxic, and seem to carve somewhere between Soapstone and Alabaster in terms of hardness/difficulty. I think it worked fairly well as a carving medium.
I colored the carving with water based woodstains. The salt was too pure white otherwise. (note how white the horns are)
I think it must have been inspired by the Buffy The Vampire TV series or something, but I'm not sure. He has an intentionally crooked and flattened nose, and a bit of tobacco in his right cheek. He doesn't have a lot of teeth left...
Next I carved a spiraling loop out of Carrera Marble. This took me 8 months. I started out trying to do a Mobius Strip, but it didn't come out exactly as planned.
I carved a turtle out of a 440lb "Rustic Bluff" limestone boulder. It turned out to be some sort of hard (marble?) under the surface. It was difficult to carve.
Now I'm working on a 100lb Black Pearl Soapstone.