70 percent debris

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day 7-2. 70% debris day 7-1a 70% debrisOne is often not aware, but when carving a statue from a block of stone, only a small part of it remains. I once calculated that very easily 70 percent of the block is thrown in the skip, and sometimes even more than that.

In this case, the block of Anröchter Grünstein (they often call it dolomite) for the ferns weighed 3,5 tons, because I had taken a rough block. If I had taken a block that was cut to size, it would have been about 2200 kilos.

I think I will end up with 600 kilos, so that's just a bit over 17 percent that remains. Normally one would take a block cut to size, So that means they already throw a lot of stones and debris at the quarry (The rough sides, non-right-angle pieces, bad pieces, and what was redundant after splitting the block).

Most people find it a pity that you throw away so much of a resource. In a way that's true, but on the other hand that's just what makes it sculpting: Creating a form by taking away the excess. And that excess comes in the form of rubble, that's just the way it is. Using a computer-controlled wire saw you might still be able to retain greater residual pieces, but these still oddly formed and after a period of storage often still end up in the skip.

Actually, this is quite a trivial topic; weight is obviously not the form of an image and nothing at all about beauty. At most, it says something about the process. That's what I like about sculpting: it is a process with many hours of handicraft between the creative parts. I do not constantly need to use creative side, I often enough may simply carve, and that gives a nice balance. How much noise all that cutting and that compressor will make, I notice that the purely physical aspect of the work to me forms a big part of the fun in the sculpting process.

At the time when I had the stonemason's training, I noticed that all this hitting the chisel and stone brings a certain calm. With each blow you delete something from your unrest. Someone who has ever seen a stonemason doing his decorative chiselling will understand what I mean. I sometimes think that sculpting in stone could be a good form of therapy for burnt-up managers. Maybe something for the future.

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Beeldhouwerijblog.nl is the blog of Koen van Velzen, sculptor in stone and bronze. Look up my website as well: beeldhouwerijvanvelzen.nl

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