Here is a gravestone I’ve been doing. Here’s the model. Original artwork done by Jerry (I’m just the muscle).
First the a drawing on the stone to mark the outline of the relief.
Then holes are drilled around the drawing, and the stone surrounding the drawing is knocked back.
Cuts are made to remove the stone easier. Larger saws require water.
The right side is what it looks like after the cuts are knocked back. The left side is planed down with a diamond saw, now chiseling has to be done to push the stone back another 1/4 in. , removing pockmarks and creating a level surface.
This is how far I’ve gotten to date. It may not look like much, but to create a level surface without chipping the edges or going too deep is pretty hard. You can’t actually use an angle grinder until everything has been brought down with a couple different chisels.
This is also a good example of how apprentices start learning to carve. The area around the stone left for the carving is called a niche. A lot of niches are circular or oval. I would say those are a bit easier, but it is tricky to make a nice edge on those too. What’s nice is that once this is out of the way I can go back to carving sculpture. I definitely have a greater appreciation for clay now.
The crazy thing that I never really think about is… this is someones gravestone.