Carving Marble with Traditional Tools

Carving Marble with Traditional Tools


The basic tools are the
same as the ancients. It’s hard in just
getting a list of tools– how does that translate into
a beautiful work of art? Working by hand,
everything slows down, and you can think
about what you’re doing while you’re doing it. You start roughing out,
taking the bulk of the weight off with a point chisel,
which concentrates all the force of your
blow at one point and bursts the stone away. Your next step
after that, having removed the bulk
of the material, is to model your form
with the tooth chisel. A tooth chisel is
basically a comb, and you use it to
chisel to model form, while at the same time
remove stone fairly quickly. Something to remember
about marble carving, it’s very tactile, the way
the stone bursts from a point chisel, or the way your
tooth chisel just kind of swims through the stone. It’s a hard material, but you
can jump into a piece of space with these tools. If you cut at a very
oblique angle to the stone you can get a finer surface. If you are forcing the tool
straight into the stone, you can get quite a
different texture. The rasp is just a whole row
of fine little teeth, cut into a piece of metal,
and you can then just rub or grind this tool into
the stone, removing material and really refine a plane. Depending on how
you use the tool you can really
emphasize certain forms. If you kind of lose your ego,
and just flow into the stone through your tools,
there’s no end of possibilities of what you
can do inside that space.

39 thoughts on “Carving Marble with Traditional Tools

  1. @coolin7000 Hahaha I love your little poem here and agree with it. And it's pretty silly not to use at least a power drill. The greats were not great because of the type of tools that they used.

  2. different artist prefer different tools, im sure there are benefits to every tool from every era. Really enjoyed the vid, great job

  3. the tool with the bow and string looks interesting! I think that 4lbs club hammer is a bit unbalanced for such work though, it will get the job done – but a head that big and wide will always want to go past the chisel head once stuck and it will rock your chisel hand. try and get hold of an old English masons punch hammer, same weight but a much longer and narrower head, the old Sheffield ones are the best – very balanced. little effort required and won't rock in your hand when striking.

  4. I could be mistaken, but I think he meant that the types of tools an artist uses is not what determines their greatness.

  5. Trying to make a turtle out of it. Harder than I anticipated. But hopefully I'll be a be able to sell it well. Also trying with wood.

  6. I've also seen some like clay turtle pots for planting. Those would be much easier. But trying this way first. Unfortunately my tools aren't perfect though.

  7. you put an michaelangelo face paint from the final trial? well that is preciselly the kind of drill of michaelangelo era…

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