Carving a family gravestone, chapter 2

December 06, 2014

photo 2 photo 1
photo 1 photo 3

Carving has begun.  Yesterday George spent the day laying out the names and dates in preparation for sandblasting. Actually, he spent much of the day helping Todd paint our pieces for the holiday orders to free Todd up to help with sandblasting.  Limestone is compressed shells really, and the texture of this stone George describes as being similar to fossilized lumpy oatmeal.  In order to ensure that a letter wasn’t chipped due to this texture, George sandblasted very lightly and then finished with the hand chisels.  Ironically, the chair George uses, the tired dirty one in the photo, is a Toledo Metal Furniture chair from my childhood.  I remember taking a trip with my Dad to a school somewhere out in the country to set up chairs he had sold to them.  It’s a fond memory.  The light is how George works, one light in a pitch dark room that he moves around in order to see how crisp the lines are.  This extreme shadowed light helps him ensure the depth is uniform.  It’s also interesting that once he begins carving, that is all he does.  He carved for 6 hours without any thought or need for food.  He goes to a different place, a distant sort of space completely absorbed in the tap tap tapping.  It always looks like he is carving butter.

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