“Simple and easy is the way to perfection” I CHING
Most people think of marble carving as being something difficult, requiring special tools, equipment and skills. Instead, carving is actually quite simple, few tools or experience are needed and can be easily learned and enjoyed by people of all ages including those with no previous manual experience.
During 20 years of teaching marble carving workshops to students, from beginners to professional artists and carvers with years of experience, we developed a clear step by step method that works for everybody. The method is based on the use of the various tools and technical processes traditionally used by the artisans of Pietrasanta combined with a modern, creative approach to executing sculpture in stone.
The process of stone sculpture realization is broken down into 4 easily understandable steps, where the approach, tools and techniques suitable to each step are explored and practiced before proceeding to the next. In this manner each step is a clear foundation for the next step, while developing your knowledge and skills as the sculpture progresses.
Following this method as the sculpture progresses, all aspects of carving are discussed and demonstrated, including:
- marble and stone selection;
- safe and efficient use of hand, electrical and pneumatic tools;
- proper chisel sharpening techniques;
- the four major steps involved in carving;
- the tools and techniques suitable to each step.
- the advantages/disadvantages of the reproduction process in working from a model vs. a direct carving approach;
Additional aspects covered in the course concern the process of working three-dimensionally where exercises are presented for: visualization, sketching in form, intuition, discovering your personal style, challenging and breaking barriers to creativity etc.
After initially illustrating the complete process, students are daily guided individually and in groups through discussions and hands on instruction. Emphasis is also placed on the development of an individual approach to carving based on each participant's personal preferences in using the various methods, tools and techniques.
The 3 week course is a complete and in depth experience, allowing enough time to finish a larger sculpture , where all aspects such as skills, techniques, comprehension, and 3D visualization, can fully develop hand in hand.
The 1 week course is an intensive introduction to all that is covered in the 3 week course while using a smaller block of marble.
The 2 week course is an extended version of the 1 week course but allows more time to practice usage of all the tools and develop skills.
Other course lengths can be arranged to meet your needs.
1. Roughing out the form
2. Modeling/developing the form
3. Refining/completing the form
4. Textures and Polishing
We provide good quality white statuary marble from Carrara in a size dependent upon course duration. One block is provided to each participant and is included in the cost of the workshop.
Larger pieces or other types of marble are available from the many stone suppliers in the area, and can be worked on during the workshop when arranged in advance in agreement with the studio.
All necessary tools are provided at no extra charge: hand and pneumatic air hammers, steel and carbide chisels, electric and air grinders, diamond saws, polishing materials, safety glasses and ear protection. It isn't necessary to bring or buy any equipment.
Safety, maintenance and correct usage are shown and discussed for all the equipment, along with safe procedures for moving stone.
Incorrectly used, some tools can be dangerous, such as the diamond saw, therefore these are only used under constant direct supervision until competence is demonstrated.
The workshops are held in English.