I began my sculpting career as a woodcarver, carving wood exclusively for ten years. Then I went to Vermont and attended a marble carving class. It was a revelation. I was fascinated by the variety of textural possibilities - the rough broken surface, the unique marks produced by the different tools, the polished surface which brought out stone's color. It was exciting to watch the way the stone broke, always just a little out of your control, when drilled for splitting with feathers and wedges or when struck with the hammer and pitching tool. Stone opened up a whole range of new sculptural possibilities for me.
People look at stone and wonder, "How can anyone possibly carve that?" With some experience and the proper tools, I find that I can now work the softer stones as easily as wood. Granite is another matter, but with diamond saws and carbide tipped pneumatic tools, that too can be shaped into beautiful forms.
This brief online tutorial will give you an overview of the most popular stones for carving, the tools used, and the carving process. With a little knowledge and the proper tools, carving stone can be fun. Pick up a hammer and point chisel, find a stone - and just start carving.