video: copying a weathered head in new stone

-Read the first post about this project here←


Four heads

Copying one of the four weathered sandstone grotesque heads from a building in Amsterdam. The original is kept, the copies will be placed into the facade. Since the original carvings were made with a fairly rough finish, the copy received the same finish as well.

I started with the stonemasonry work on the profiles and the and lay the chisel mark finish of the flat parts that end up within sight. The interior of the profile was finished with a pointed chisel. The parts of the stone that will be set inside the wall, are roughened up with a single cut stroke, at the edge where the joint will be, and with deeper lines on the rest of the surface. This is to insure better adhesion of the mortar.

Work flow

I started by tracing the profile, which I transferred onto the stone by using a template. Everything outside the lines of the profile I then cut and carved away. Then I measured the circumferences of the face and carved the parts of the hair a bit deeper. Then as the mass of the face remained, I started shaping the face itself. By placing the two stones tightly against each other, many measurements can be taken with a single setting of the compass. If the stone is rotated 90 degrees, many more measurements can be taken the same way.

Much of the copy is carved by eye. This method is slightly less accurate than carving with a pointing machine, but it is much faster and therefore cheaper for the customer. This method relies very much on the experience of the sculptor.

After this came detailing and finishing. This sandstone (Udelfanger) can be smoothed up to a very fine finish, but because the original was previously carved quite quickly, the copy was given the same finish with traces of the tooth iron over almost the entire surface.

Read here↑ a message on the techniques used and here↑ and here↑ two more messages with tips for sculptors. is the blog of Koen van Velzen, sculptor in stone and bronze. Look up my website as well:

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