Final finishes

With the carving complete, it is time to decide on the way I want the final piece to look. There are many options for finishing the surface of the stone. Ideally, the surface treatment chosen should further define the carved shapes and enhance the overall appearance of the sculpture. For instance, the piece can be left in a raw state, with the tool marks becoming part of the design or it can be sanded until the surface pores are closed, which makes the surface reflect light,  creating a shiny appearance and  accentuating the colors and veining that were exposed during the carving process. By wetting the stone, which mimics a reflective surface, you get a preview of how the sanded piece will look. Here again, I let the stone be my guide. With this piece, sanding the surface to  accentuate  the colors does not enhance the shapes, so I chose to texture some parts and smooth the rest. This way, I can use the textured area to add interest and direct the eye. Sometimes, combining different finishes is the best choice.

Photo 1 shows the stone wet before any finishing. Photo 2 shows the completed piece with heavily textured area over the brown spots and smooth finish up front, accentuating the veining there.

wetted stone before sandingshowing surface treatments




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