Saturday, May 12, 2007

A Boy and His Stone

I'm continuing my stone carving education by taking a power tools class. I'll be using an angle grinder primarily. I just had my first class today. Using the angle grinder is definitely different from using just hammer and chisel. For one thing, you can remove material much more quickly. About as quickly as using a cold knife on cold butter. Which is pretty fast if you think about the fact that the butter in this case is actually stone. It works quickly enough that I need to plan more carefully. The other aspect is just the fact that the broad spinning disk is just different, dang it, from using a variety of pointy chisels.

Anyway, I had a couple of spare stones to work with. I had intended to use them as experimental pieces. So, I'm not even sure how good the stones actually are. I chose this one just because it is so interesting.

After initially toying with some other ideas, I've decided that it will be a fish. Probably modeled after a koi. I've always liked koi. They have an aspect of grace and peace about them. The gray stone won't do the koi's color justice, but that's alright. I'm going for form. I don't know if I'll be able to pull off the graceful curve I'm looking for (not to mention the fins), but we'll see. And besides, as the fortune in the cookie says:

I live my life by these fortunes.

This is me at the end of the first day. Can you believe that shirt started out black? Oh... Alright, alright... I'm lying. It was beige to start with, but it is holding about a pound of stone dust in its fibers.

As you can see, we are practicing proper safety procedures in this class: safety goggles, respirator, and ear plugs. That bench I'm leaning against was designed (and mostly built) by one of the previous students who is skilled in carpentry. It's a good little bench. We built several of them, and I have one just like it that I use at home.

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