Special topics in art history
- Working jade
- Quarrying and carving marble
- Carving marble with traditional tools
- Casting bronze: lost-wax method
- Casting bronze: direct lost-wax casting
- Making a Spanish polychrome sculpture
- Making a Spanish polychrome sculpture: Saint Ginés de la Jara
- After the Fall: The Conservation of Tullio Lombardo's "Adam"
- Object Conservation - Salisbury Cross
- Contemporary Art Conservation at Smithsonian's Hirshhorn Museum
- Conservation: Cast of the Pórtico de la Gloria
- Conservation: The Nasrid plasterwork collection at the V&A
- Conservation: Playing Tipu’s Tiger
- Conservation: The Wolsey Angels
Carving marble with traditional tools
Watch a sculptor demonstrate the use of traditional tools—such as the tooth chisel, the point chisel, the drill, and the rasp—as he creates a finished figure from a block of marble. Created by Getty Museum.
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- How can we identify if a marble sculpture is done using a traditional technique or is done on carving machines with the support of computer-aided software?
Additionally, can sculptures designed and developed with the support from computer design and machinery be considered of artistic interest?(13 votes)
- Well, first you should check the time period in which the sculpture is from. If it is from the time before computerized carving machines, you know it was done traditionally or using another original method. If you have checked the time period and it is after computerized carving machines existed, it will be harder to tell. Check for fingerprints or tiny excess useless pieces of clay. Check for paint smudges and other messy signs that would be caused by a potter's hands. For the most part, if it is not specified otherwise to you, it was made by machine, with the help of a potter.
Yes. They can. Even if it was created with the help of a computer, pots and other pottery were still supervised by a potter. This potter helped the computer with the design that he/she wanted, by drawing it on a tablet or just by supervising the clay as it was developed and created.(9 votes)
- Does the bow-like tool he's using at1:40have a name? What specific purpose does it have?(4 votes)
- It is called a "bow drill". It is a type of boring tool which was traditionally used in stone carving studios to achieve delicate representations of locks of hair, lace fringes, narrow folds of drapery, etc
- I don't understand how the bow drill works. Is it like some kind of pulley?(4 votes)
- the string is wrapped around the larger end of the drill bit, when it is pulled or pushed back and forth with the bow, it spins the drill bit, which is in touch with the marble itself. The spinning bit then chips or abrades away the marble(3 votes)
- From0:34, the narrator talks about the pointy tool that is used to create the rough shape. I have no experience whatsoever with sculpting marble.. How easy is it to crack a piece of marble? Are there different qualities in marble that make some harder to crack than others?(3 votes)
- Actually, I am also a little confused on this point. I think it depends on the size/form of the marble. For example, an intricate marble figurine will break if dropped onto a hard floor from a high table. The larger block of marble though is more resistant. The tools used specifically target the pressure of the mallet in a small area for maximum effect.(3 votes)
- whats the name of that piece? i couldnt under stand what was it.(3 votes)
- What was he making? It did not look like a sculpture of a human.(3 votes)
- To me it did look like a sculpture of a human: at the end (around2:30) you can see a (female?) figure, sitting with the legs pulled up a bit and an arm stretched out almost horizontally (the head is difficult to see until they turn the sculpture, it is leaning towards the left).(3 votes)
- How hard is marble compared to other types of stone?(2 votes)
- It's softer than granite, but it's a hard, durable stone. It rates a 3-4 on the Mohs scale of hardness: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mohs_scale_of_mineral_hardness(5 votes)
- What is the statue he is making?(2 votes)
- Do you mean what the statue is I think it's a women(2 votes)
- Do the artist sketches the figure on a paper before starting Carving of the marble how many months it took carve the marble and does the artist take precaution so that the marble powder does not harm his eyes(2 votes)
- Do art supply stores sell marble?(1 vote)
- I have been in quite a few art supply stores and haven't ever seen marble or jade or anything like that. I think marble and such is too expensive for most crafting stores to carry.(3 votes)
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.