ABOUT THE SCULPTING TOOLS

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Most of all the work is done using only the most basic hand tools; hammer, chisels, files, and wet/dry sandpaper. Almost all the artists use no electrical or pneumatic machinery during the carving process as it is all done by using hand held tools. Because of his preference for very hard stones, Joseph Muzondo does use some pneumatic tools during the initial reduction process and then switches to hand tools for the carving process. A few other artists, such as Chetuwa Jemali, will also incorporate pneumatic chisels to speed the reduction process. The picture above tells the whole story. Work is done outside by daylight, usually under a simple canvas tarp, using these rudimentary tools yet with highly refined techniques.

Hammer Head tools are used on harder stones and should be used with a dummy mallet or lump hammer.

Claw Bit Holders – A claw tool with changeable claw bits. Ideal for general roughing out work.

´X´ Grade Tipped Tools – ´X´ Grade steel is very much more durable than carbon steel, and the tools are of heavier design. Sharpening Stone Carving Tools – Tools are supplied fire sharpened only, and so therefore need to be sharpened before use.

These are some of the Sculpture Tools the Artists use when sculpting:

Mallet Head Chisels & Bolsters
Mallet & Hammer Head Goughes
Mallet Head Punchers
Mallet Head Broad Claws
Hammer Head Chisels/Bolsters
Hammer Head Bullnose Chisels
Hammer Head Punchers
Hammer Head Broad Claws
Marble Points
Marble (Fine) Claws
Pitchers
Short Lettering Chisels
Claw Bit Holders
Tungsten Carbide3 Tipped Tools
TC Tipped Carving Chisels
TC Tipped Lettering Chisels
´X´ Grade Tools

The procedure of carving:

Many artists first mark up the stone with charcoal or chalk to indicate the larger pieces to be removed.
The artist will first start with the chasing hammer or adze and chisel, hewing out the rough form.
For more detail the artist will go over it again and again with the finer chisels.
The sculptor now uses a rasp and file to further smooth and shape the sculpture.
The next stage is to smooth the surface by using coarse to very fine grades of wet/dry sandpaper. The color and character of the stone is now becoming visible. The sculptor would have used up to 800 or 1200 grit wet/dry paper before deciding to apply any wax.
The sculpture is now ready to receive the wax. The sculpture is placed close to a fire or artificial heating medium. During this process the sculpture must be turned many times so that it is heated evenly if not there is a possibility the sculpture may crack. Once it reaches the required temperature multiple layers of clear wax or beeswax can be applied.
When cold the sculpture is buffed to remove any excess wax.

The natural color, rich textures and grain of the stone are now visible. Once the sculpture is polished and buffed it has an amazingly beautiful glazed finish.