Monthly Archives: July 2010

Voltaire Continued

Once you’ve done all the roughing out with black granite, then you really start to appreciate the detail that you can get with this stone. The grain is really fine, and the dense stone is really strong, allowing you to use smaller and smaller chisels for fine detail. I have just started to punch in the eyes, and will be finishing those up, and trying to get the finer wrinkles around the eyes and mouth.

As you can see, I am working from photos at this point and trying to take my sculpture farther than the cast that I used to rough the face out. There are multiple versions of Voltaire done by Houdon, depicting him bald, and with a headband and wig. I am doing the version with the headband, but trying to go after the detail of the marble carving.

At this point, drawing on the stone is important, and more enjoyable than it is during the earlier phases. Through constant drawing and re-drawing, you eventually achieve the level of detail desired. I’ve added 4 new chisels to the mix, and may invent a few of my own as I progress.

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