A relief in direct carving method

The holidays are over and so I started a next project last Wednesday: a relief in direct carving method. It's still far from finished, but it's starting to show just a bit by now. I'm carving it out of 'beats-me-stone ', a piece that I had lying around and of which I have no idea what exactly it is. It seems like a layered kind of sandstone, but it can also be a slate-like one. Anyway, it turned out te be a beautiful piece to work in, It can be sanded to a very fine grit and carves away very easily. Sometimes you just need a little luck.

relief profile

precarving with a narrow chisel

relief profile (3)

halfway rough shaping

relief profile (2)

nearly all the details have now been defined


I've been wondering over the last few days what kind stone it should be. For a while, a colleague thought about Ölandsteen from Sweden, but by now, I found out that it should be a German sandstone in any case. But which one? Maybe Sander sandstone?

The point is that there are so very many German sandstones about, and I have no idea how I should recognize them.

I would very much like to carve more in this stone. At first I had some trouble with sanding it, because a small test with a rasp made it soon disappear and this also applied to other abrasives. I have been sanding with all kinds of materials, from sandpaper to small pieces of ceramic bonded abrasive disc. Until it turned out that it just goes perfectly with a shard of the same stone! The two stones wear each other off beautifully smooth.

Now it is known that sandstone is generally best sanded with the same material, but I simply hadn't noticed there was so much sand in this stone. It's a very dense stone, you see.

And sanding with a stone has another advantage: It's much easier to keep the shapes and forms smooth. A sandpaper follows all lumps and dimples, but a hard shape, such as a file or an abrasive irons these out. Now I can only hope I can find more of that stone.

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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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