I Was Just Thinking.....
May 10,2007
when a stone doesn%92t want to be a carving

Well, for the first time in my carving career I've got a stone that just doesn't want to cooperate. A recent commission brought me out of a feeling of being blocked, and an interesting idea for a carving and a fairly short deadline got me moving. Then disaster struck. The beautiful piece of soapstone the client approved has blocked me at every turn. The carving is to be done in 3 separate pieces, and initially when I roughed out the stone with a bandsaw all went well. Then, when I started carving the first and largest piece it went well at first, and then, one tap of the chisel and the stone split perfectly in half. The two sides were beautiful and symmetrical, but of absolutely no use to me for this particular carving anymore. After picking my chin up off the floor, I decided to move on to another piece while I figured out what I was going to do. After about 4 hours of carving time, stone number two split cleanly in half, no fuss, no muss, just two perfectly symmetrical halves and another stone that became of no use to me. To make it even more interesting, I was unable to reach my supplier, and couldn't get another stone. Making the call to the client was definitely a test for me. I've always tried to do the best I can in every commission, and this is the first time I've had to concede defeat (temporarily) and let her know what was going on, and that I could no longer promise a carving in the time frame specified, and, because it was such an unusual color of stone and I was unable to reach my supplier, nothing that I had promised was going to work. Oddly enough, she took a step back and thought about it, and decided that it was okay. We found a stone supplier in Surrey, and I'm going to go bright and early Saturday morning to try to find a similar stone, restart the carving, and the recipient will get a photo of the work in progress for his birthday. Maybe the universe was trying to tell me something with that particular stone. For some reason, it simply didn't want to be this particular carving. I have never seen a stone do that before, but when I started tapping at the other pieces, each one split. I guess this stone just wanted to stay a stone, and so I will leave it as it is. For this one it wasn't meant to be.

Posted by Lydia Podobnik at 10:28

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