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The Stone Corner

Finishing Soft Stone

FINISHING SOFT STONEWINGS OF CHNGE in Utah calcite by JoAnn Duby at her Art City studio
By JoAnn Duby

Here we share the experience and knowledge of those who have found their own answers to some of the inevitable and sometimes nagging questions forever popping up in our sculpture projects. Newcomers will find it useful and even those who have been carving for some time can never deny the benefit of a tune-up.

Soapstone, Chlorite, alabaster, limestone, Pyrophyllite

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The Stone Column: Granite - May/June 1996

Granite is a magnificent rock that has adorned cities for centuries. It is treasured for its beautiful texture as well as its multitude of utility. It not only flaunts itself in polished monuments, statues and intricate sculptures, but provides foundations for buildings, curbs for streets and steps for stairs.

It is undoubtedly the world's dimension building stone and the stone of the world's bygone heroes and heroines. Brilliantine reds, pinks, blacks, grays, and whites continue to sparkle century after century as other stones turn to clay and dust. Hard granite is no stone for the weak hearted or the limp wristed; the beauty of the stone must be earned by hard work. Some of the most noted mountains in the United States are, by no mistake, granite massifs: Stone Mountain and Mount Rushmore, both with their carved historical figures; the Old Man in the Mountain, Mother Nature's carved face; Mount Monadnock; and, closer to home in the Pacific Northwest, Mount Index

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Eight Easy Steps to Polishing Basalt - Jan/Feb 2004

Many carvers are intimidated by the difficulty of sanding and polishing basalt. This is entirely unnecessary.   Soon you too will discover that deep space, raven’s wing glow within your own dark and crusty igneous chunks.   Basalt is in fact very easy to finish if you follow these eight easy steps:

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The Stone Column Jade

The Stone Column
by Bill Laprad
by Bill Laprade

The English word jade has a circuitous derivation. It started with the Spanish expression "piedra de hijada", meaning the "stone of the loins", because it was claimed that this stone could cure diseases of the kidneys. This gave rise to the word nephrite, from the Greek word for kidneys: nephros. The French equivalent l'ejade eventually evolved into le jade, and its English translation, jade. 

Ed. Note: The Stone of Heaven is one of the most revered natural substances in the world, such has been the case for centuries, particularly in Asia. What other mineral would make a Chinese emperor offer fifteen cities for a jade carving that he could hold in the palm of his hand or make Montezuma smile when he heard that the Spaniard Cortez was interested only in gold, since Montezuma's most precious possession was jade. 

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Stone Queries: Quarry Sap - Jan/Feb 2009

In the book, The Agony and the Ecstasy, Michelangelo is said to have draped the David marble in damp cloth after every carving session. What was he doing?


While I wouldn't begin to question Michelangelo's approach, I strongly suspect that description is more artistic license of the author than artistic technique of the sculptor. Damp cloth draping is essential when modeling in clay but as far as I can determine....

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