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How to Select Stone for Sculpting

Category: Stone Knowledge Updated: 2013/11/18 Views  Views: 1618       Likes  Likes: 172

Sculpting stone is an extremely old art form, dating back to prehistoric times. One of the world's most famous sculptures, Michelangelo's 'David,' was completed in 1504 and was made from marble. In addition to marble, the most common stone types to use for sculpting are alabaster, granite, limestone, sandstone and soapstone. Some of the factors that will determine what stone you select will depend on your level of sculpting experience and the size of your project.

Step 1 Learn about the different rock types, including sedimentary, metamorphic and igneous. All stones used for carving belong to one of these categories. Knowing each stone's characteristics regarding hardness, shine and durability will help you select the right stone for your project.

Step 2 Take your level of expertise into account when it comes to sculpting using stone as a medium. Softer rocks are easier to work with than hard stone, and are more appropriate for beginners. Soft varieties include soapstone and alabaster.

Step 3 Check your local college or university to see whether they offer sculpting classes. The professor may be able to recommend materials that will suit your project and where you can purchase them locally. Having stone shipped to you can become expensive.

Step 4 Be aware of your budget for stone. Some stone is more plentiful than others and therefore, costs less. Very high quality rock, such as Carrara marble, can be very expensive.

Step 5 Determine what color and how high a finishhow much glossyou want for your end product. Texture and color varies in each variety of stone.

Step 6 Decide whether you will display your sculpture inside or outdoors. Certain kinds of stone can withstand the damaging effects of the weather more than others. Granite is able to remain outside due to the hardness of its composition. Alabaster, sandstone and soapstone cannot stay outdoors.

Step 7 Have an idea about the level of detail you plan to use in your sculpture. Limestone, one of the softer sedimentary rocks, is a good choice for very detailed carvings. Granite, which is much harder to work with, is not.

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