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This is how I carved an Octopus from lime stone for the Kingsbrae garden in New Brunswick.
To start off I entered a contest that had a national call for sculpture. In order to do this I had to make a maquette (a small version of the sculpture I proposed). I did this out of terracotta clay. It didn’t take very long as I had a good idea of what I wanted. Then you get a big block of limestone. This one came from Texas.
You can see the maquette on top and some drawing I have done to start blocking out. I do this by first lightly cutting the lines I have drawn. For this I use a electroplated diamond disc on my Metabo 5 inch angle grinder. I did all the cutting for this dry . I use a water feed for granite or basalt carving but don’t find it necessary for this soft stone. This stuff cuts really fast so I moved along very quickly and got the head roughed out.
In this last shot you can see how I am cutting into the stone. Some times I am making parallel cuts then breaking them out with hammer and chisel. Other times I am flush cutting to get an inside curve using the round of the blade then just knocking the cuts out with the hammer.
Way off in the corner you can see the Maquette that I still reference every now and then.
To give you an idea of the difference between Granite and Limestone, that grey Granite in the background weights about 1500 lbs where the much bigger Limestone block only tips the scales at about 600. From here I only need to cut a bit deeper and smooth it out for it to be finished. The smoothing is done with a sintered diamond cup wheel and a silicon carbide sanding disc at about 60 grit. I rely pretty heavily on power tools to do the hard work . Some like the idea of hand finishing but for me it just takes time and doesn’t make much difference in a piece like this. I am at about 10 hrs at this point with 5 hours of finishing left to do. I will do a final sand on sight at the garden after transport in case anything breaks or gets scuffed during installation.
Installed and finish sanded signed and thats that.
That is my shipping crate in the background. It took 4 days to get from Calgary to St Andrews by truck. It was a great drive a super fun trip with my Father and Shadow. The maritimes are beautiful and fun with lots to drink and great food. The concrete was just poured the day befor so the forms had to stay. A great big thank you to the Algonquin hotel.