Kilkenny limestone sculpture………………phase 1

hello again! I thought I’d make a record of the design and making of a sculpture, from initial sketches to finished piece. It’s early days……….this is the first instalment. I made a similar piece about 12 years ago, and here’s a picture of that one:

kilkenny stone
Kilkenny limestone sculpture made in 2004

I have been commissioned to make another. Here are my initial sketches for it:

sketchesThe client opted for the second of these, and I have been working on it recently. The darker areas will be polished, and the lighter shades represent a chiselled surface, which is a mid-grey colour. This finish will be created with a ‘claw chisel’ which is a chisel with a series of ‘teeth’ a bit like a comb. The stone will be shaped using angle grinders (diamond blades) diamond ‘cup wheels’ and hammer, pitcher, punch and chisels, and then finally polished with velcro sanding discs on a grinder/polisher. The stone is unusual for a limestone in that when polished the main material turns almost black, and then the fossils (mainly crinoids) within the stone show as paler elements:

kilkenny 2So I ordered a slab of Kilkenny blue limestone from Feelystone (good name that) in Ireland and it was delivered about 3 weeks ago. Kilkenny stone is a carboniferous limestone, sedimentary, formed about 370, 000, 000 years ago. The block was 1200mm x 650mm x 350mm, and weighed in at 750kg. Below are a few pictures of the progress so far. I shaped as much of the top as I could with the stone upright, but it became difficult to successfully work the chamfers (angled cuts) around the form, so I will now work the main shape with the stone horizontal in order to get better flow around the whole of the shape. The curved outline needs to flow naturally right around the shape. I will now do most of the work with the stone flat, but will drill a hole in the bottom so I can finally stand it up and finish it off with the stone standing (poised, balancing on a stainless steel pin) to ensure the shapes flow from every angle. Then I can add the polished and rougher elements. The client and I have discussed the rather exciting idea of having the stone balanced on a single dowel, in such a way as it can be rotated. WATCH THIS SPACE for more pictures.



kk3kk4 kk6 kk7 kk8 kk11kk10   kk5kk13kk12

oh, and by the way! In case you’re wondering about my health and safety procedure check out this lovely selfie: (lol, as one says these days)

dusty me

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