An 18th century garden vase with pine cone
A small assignment I got last summer was to make a new sandstone pine cone for an 18th-century garden vase. This beautiful vase was made of Bentheimer sandstone, but the pinecone was made out of concrete and it was also very weathered, so now a new one was to be made for it. The lid of the vase also had two damages on its edge, which I would fix as well.
By hand or by lathe?
First I made a new pine cone from a new piece of sandstone, but I didn't get it as sleek as I wanted, and it took me way too long. Whenever you want to make something round by hand, it takes a lot of time, because you have to make a cube first, then you turn it into a cylinder in several steps by making facets, then you have to set up the outline of the ornament in facets, make all that tight, and then you still need to start detailing the ornaments and scales. I didn't like it and started over.
So I started with another piece of stone and turned a nicely detailed copy out of this block on my copy saw. It took some work to set it all up, making a contour tracing, aligning and sawing everything accurately, but it immediately looked much more crisp. After some sanding I was able to continue with drawing and carving the details.
Once the pinecone was ready I was able to restore the lid of the vase and attach the cone to it. I started by removing the old concrete pine cone. It was secured with some copper pipes and polyester glue. Then I could glue the new one on top, repair the damage to the edge with restoration mortar and bring everything back to color. I also adjusted the new part to the old color scheme, so that it merges into the whole and doesn't contrast with it.