Direct Carving Of Stone:
"The method of stone carving I use is called “direct carving” which in its purist form is simply choosing a stone, deciding how a mental image I have will fit the stone (or image that the stone suggests), drawing that image on the stone with chalk (when satisfied with the image make it more permanent with grease pencil or a marker), and finally carving the image --while allowing for the wonderful opportunities that present themselves during the carving process to change, evolve and solve esthetic or practical problems. The color of a riverstone usually changes after breaking through the exterior surface - unexpected dry cracks show up- textures change, plus other unknowable variables, which may open up inspiring new directions during the process of carving..... the trick is to be sensitive to these possibilities and use them to enhance the final carving. I may decide to emphasize a line, deepen a shadow, change the volume of a form, experiment with texture, repeat a pattern, etc., after I am well into the carving process - and that is also much of the excitement, beauty and magic that is inherent in this carving method for me. Other methods of “direct carving” are also used in which preliminary drawings on paper and/or models are used to solve problems of composition, define volumes, etc. In stark contrast to the “direct carving” method is the academic method of “pointing up”, in which a detailed clay or plaster model is made and with various exact measuring devices, the artist (or usually a craftsman), transfers those measurements to the stone and carves it as close to the original model as possible - (an enlargement or reduction of the original sculpture may also be done by this method)."