Dancing in the Wind. Stone Sculpture

4 August, 2008 – 7:00 pm

This Carving was completed about three months ago. It is the most detailed stone carving that I have created on such a small scale.

Every time I start a new carving I have an idea of what I would like it to look like in my head. This one was inspired by the elegance and free flowing form of the Art Nouveau Period.

The piece of stone that I used was from Veizeys Quarry in Tetbury, Gloucestershire. It is approximately 18″ high. There was quite a lot of shell within the material which adds to the finished effect.

As it was a complete rectangle I was starting with a completely blank canvas-in so much as it had no surface features to guide me to the final shape.

I sketched on the surface what I wanted the carving to look like and from this I could block out the bits I didn’t need before concentrating on the features. I didn’t do much on the back to start with as all the time I had a flat surface I could lie the stone down to work on it.

By taking out the middle portion, I was aware that this could add weakness to the stone, however I had the natural Bed of the stone-how it it formed in layers-on its edge, ie running from top to bottom. This gave the stone an added strength, if it was carved naturally bedded, ie side to side, then there would be a weakness across the middle.

By taking out the unecessary stone from the middle I had left the carving top heavy, so proceeded to take some of the weight from the top. This carving had to give the feeling of light, delicate, free flowing movement, something that stone is not known for!! The idea was to have a figure dancing, with her arms holding fabric above her head, which in the light summer breezes is billowing above her head and draping across her body. I am striving to push my abilities and test the limits of the stone!!

The big chisels that I use are not needed for long, and soon I am moving onto my finer carving chisels, these are able to rough out on a smaller scale, as I work in the details of her body, working on the scale of 1:7, head to body ratio. If you were to measure the size of your head, then it should fit into your body 7 times.

During the Art Nouveau Period the limbs of the female subjects were often elongated to add more grace to the paintings, drawing and sculptures. however although I worked on the principle of 7:1, I kept this idea in mind and used my judgement to decide what looked right to me.

As the sides of the carving were progressing I couldn’t leave the back out of the carving otherwise it would look like an afterthought. As I have mentioned before It is important to keep the flow of the carving consistent in order to maintain a balance.

The idea that I was working from was fluid in my mind and each time I started working on my carving I could see where improvements could be made. Features could be improved upon, I pushed the stone trying to find the limits to which I could carve. unfortunately I pushed too hard. I was working on her arms, both raised above her head, as she faced forward, as I was chiselling with a mere 4mm chisel the centre section of her arm came off. This was not a fault in the stone, just my own inexperience of this subject matter. however I look on every misfortune as a learning experience. even the gentlest taps with a chisel would be too much, it was time to get out the files and rifflers.

I had always finished any figurative carving that I had done with my chisels, so the thought of sanding and filing to finish this carving was quite alien to me. However this is me learning something I hope never will stop.

The final finish would not have been possible if I had not made that mistake. To correct the issue of the arm, I removed all evidence of its position, I still had enough material to put it in two places. One behind the fabric and the second up behind her hair, which was long and flowing so could be carved to look like there was something behind it. the latter is the one I chose. In order to make this look convincing, I had to twist the body around.

 I could not have hoped for a better outcome as this was a better pose than I had originally thought of!! The movement and freedom of my Dancer was just as I wanted her to be.

I hope you agree, and just remember it is not a mistake if you learn from it.

  1. 3 Responses to “Dancing in the Wind. Stone Sculpture”

  2. This one is just amazing – and it is even more beautiful “in the flesh”… I WANT IT!!!

    By Georgie on Oct 9, 2008

  3. Hi Georgie, I am very proud of this one, and my latest stone sculpture is on a similar theme, but I think that its going to be even better!! Check out my latest post about the Art Nouveau style woman. I hopefully will be finishing it this weekend and so will put the rest of the photos up.. watch this space.
    Thank you for posting a comment, Carrie.

    By Carrie Horwood on Oct 9, 2008

  4. Deutschland sucht den Superstar und das Supertalent:
    Wer steckt wohl hinter den ganzen Bohlen-Sprüchen aus den RTL-Shows, DSDS usw.?

    Es ist kein Geringerer als Gerd Graf Bernadotte af Wisborg, der Dieter Bohlen diese Sprüche in den Mund legt!

    Graf Bernadotte ist langjähriger Berater des Poptitan Dieter Bohlen und lancierte auch schon Nadja Abd el Farrag (Naddel) auf über 1000 Schlagzeilen.
    Seit Jahren ist Gerd Graf Bernadotte für die Sprüche des Pop-Titanen verantwortlich.

    Wir dürfen uns über weitere Sprüche des Grafen Bernadotte freuen und hoffen, dass Dieter Bohlen
    noch viele davon einsetzt.



    Bernadotte ist der Name des regierenden Geschlechtes des Königreichs Schweden. Gerd Graf Bernadottes Großvater
    wurde bekannt durch den Umbau der Insel Mainau im Bodensee in ein Blumenparadies, das jährlich von über einer Million Touristen besucht wird.
    Gerd Graf Bernadotte erwartet einen zufällig entdeckten Erbanspruch, welcher auch in die Formel Eins fließen soll. Laut Notar handelt es sich bei dem Erbe des
    Königs von Schweden, Gustav VI. (bis 1973) um 25 Millionen Schwedische Kronen. Hochgerechnet zzgl. Zinsen bei der Svenska Handelsbank in Stockholm handelt es sich
    dabei um ein Sümmchen von 55 Millionen Euro.

    By adhew on Oct 10, 2009

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