A close acquaintance of mine recently died after battling for 13 th anniversary this year. One of the last things he did was secretly save money, to be able to give a small sculpture to his wife for her birthday .
They had a special affinity with squirrels, that regularly asked for attention in their yard.
So he asked me to carve a sitting and an alerted squirrel in stone. Preferably, the stone had to have a colour that fits with squirrels, like brownish or reddish.
That turned out to be somewhat difficult, because it also had to be able to endure outside. Lots of colored stone types are not weather-proof enough, so I couldn't find a good brown limestone and granite was way too hard and difficult to carve the details in.
Until I suddenly thought of red sandstone. I normally never use this stone. It's the original Bentheimer sandstone, and that is a lot tougher (read: harder) to carve in than the white/yellowish one from Gildehaus. It's also more layered, and all in all, I find it's a difficult stone. But the colour matches the subject well.
I made a small clay sketch in plastiline, and drew an outline template from that, and magnified it to 150%. When I had transferred that to the stone, I first cut out the outlines and then with a magnification compass, and by eye, I carved out the squirrels.
I've somewhat stylized the squirrels and especially the tails, so there is a bit more definition than with only the round tails.
The gift came as a big surprise; two months after his death she had absolutely not expected this . To me, because of that, it was a special and honorable commission as well.