It's been a bit quiet on my blog, because I a big job had in progress. Messages about that to follow later, because it is not finished yet. But last week I carved a reclining bull in white marble.
My father asked me: 'How do you take on such a project, how do you make such an animal?’ I explained to him that in such a case I usually first make a clay model.
I first went looking for photographs, and modeled a rather coarse clay model on the basis thereof. It was all about the posture and dimensions to me. I knew how big I wanted to make it, because I had already bought a piece of stone. If you do it the other way around, it's often a bit more difficult to find a suitable piece of stone.
When the clay model was about right, I drew an outline template on a piece of white cardboard (plasterer's milk carton board, see here↑ some tips). I cut out the template and put it on my block of stone.
These contours I traced on the piece of marble with a marker and then carved them out with a sharp chisel. I then cut away all the excess stone outside of the lines with the diamond saw. The result was a piece of stone that looked as if I'd cut out the outline with a bandsaw.
Then I put the model and the stone together tightly and I started transferring the dimensions of the head and the body. For this technique, see the aforementioned blog post.
Finally, I precarved the bull, on the basis of these sizes, in the rough, and refined, adapted and detailed it by eye. The last step was the detailing and polishing. I ultimately made its head a bit smaller because it was a bit too big in the original design. The bull was carved in white Sivec marble and is about 50 x 20 cms tall, at an height of 33 centimeters.
I also made a black granite base piece on which it can lie down. Just as the previously made padukas this is a temple piece; the bull Nandi is the mount of Shiva and is traditionally present in every Shiva temple where there is a Shivalingam.