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DIY: Sandstone Sculptures

Updated:2013-11-29 16:50:11
Sandstone is one of the easier materials to carve. Old sandstone is some of the best, especially from about 416 million (Cretaceous Period) to 146 million years old (Devonian Period). Anything before this period is too soft and sandstone created after this period is too hard. Arizona, Texas, Oklahoma, Nevada are just four of the best places to uncover sandstone that old. Do not use sandstone to create your own version of Stonehenge or Easter Island heads. Use limestone instead. Sandstone, in a large format sculpture, has a tendency to crumble and collapse. You can find sandstone in a local quarry for this challenging art sculpture.
Instructions as follows:
Firstly, some artists can look at a rock and see a project within the stone while others may need to use an external model to create the project. Artist Gary Paschall, who has been sculpting in sandstone tile, wood and bronze for 35 years, says sculpting in sandstone is where you build your vision by removing the outer coverings. He can look at a piece of sandstone and see a vision of what to carve within the stone. If you need a model or picture of what you want to create, put it in a place easy to view as a guide every now and then.
Secondly, find the oldest piece which will contain the size sculpture you wish to create. You will be chiseling away excess sandstone at first until you can get to the area where you can start detailing your project. Then use the Dremel tool with silicon carbide tips to grind and shape the basic details. Use dental picks (toothpicks) to bring out the finer details. As your project starts to take shape, keep removing any sandstone not used for the project. Use your model to create the curves and details in proportion to the overall project.
Thirdly, stay in a well-ventilated area or work outdoors to do your carving. Wear a dust mask to cut down on inhaling sandstone dust into your lungs. Also wear protective eye goggles, hearing protection for loud hammering and drills and wear gloves to protect your fingers from misguided hammer strikes. When you finish your carving, brush off any dust and loose pieces to clean the surface. Then use spray acrylic lacquer to finish off the sculpted surface and add instant glue on small detail areas to avoid any cracking.
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