Sculpt and Carve a Hummingbird in Stone

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Introduction: Sculpt and Carve a Hummingbird in Stone

Hello, my name is Mirko Prado and I'm from Bolivia, on this (my first instructable) I will show you how to sculpt a Hummingbird (or anything) in stone.


First of all, we need to know a little about WHAT TO SCULPT and ON WHAT WE CAN SCULPT.

If you wish to sculpt something, it can be made on several materials: wood, clay, glass, stone, etc. but the material will depend of the kind of sculpt that you wish to make, generally to begin you can try basic forms on 2D, choose a light and soft material and initiate to try to give a formed shape, circle, triangle, cube, them try to perfect the shape polish with a lot of patience, if you can made a perfect cube on any material, you can sculpt anything with time.

Step 1: Let's Talk a Little About Mohs Scale.

The Mohs Scale will help us to identify the materials that we can use to sculpt and what we need to make the work (tools)

Generally for my works I choose materials from 6 and low, because bring me a secure way to trace, cut and made details, anything from 7 to High, will need diamond tools and a lot of time.

The Hummingbird that I will show on this instructable was made on FLAGSTONE (Mohs scale will be 3 or 4) and it's a great material to sculpt a lot of images or shapes, easy to find and very durable on time, bring enough density for high details.

But you can use any material that you feel comfortable with it, just enjoy the process.

I keep a lot materials that I can find to sculpt: flagstone, fluorite, vegetal material, etc.

Ok, let's start with the project.

Step 2: Tools Need It to Sculp.

I like to made or adapt my own tools to sculpt, I feel comfortable with my selection and bring me high control on entire process.

As you can see in the photo, I use fine files, steel or brass brush, plastic brush (old toothbrush will works great too), adapted little saw, solder circuit tools and of course dental tools with sharp points (for details).

Also I use sandpaper from 100 to 2000 to finish the figure.

On the closeup picture you can check the files and the several shapes to work with it, each shape can be used to help you on several ways, holes, traces and cuts.

I don't like to use any electronic device like a Dremel because the vibration of the tool and the rise of temperature can break the fragile structure of the sculpt figure.

Step 3: Select You Example to Sculpt.

I like this little hummingbird that get on internet, I print it and adjust the size to the stone that I will use, try to give you enough space in the stone to cut freely and without worry.

Step 4: Copy the Main Lines.

Each design have MAIN LINES, the exterior an that lines define the size and final external shape, try to make it very clear to avoid errors on cut.

Step 5:

Cut and eliminate any not usable part of the stone, make the cuts with slow motions and avoid any twist on the cutting process, you can break easily your stone and lose time, cut straight and slow.

Step 6: With Files Try to Shape It.

Now it's time to use files and try to get near each main line on exterior, still not perfection, but you can reach the border and later define it, also you can RE-DRAW the interior design to get a general idea about the sculpt, made the inner lines with soft and delicate traces, when you have the design that you wish totally draw, you can make the lines a little more deep and start giving forms SLOWLY, because the stone don't allow any error, so if you trace, that line will stay there forever, go slowly and check the volume and shadows that you wish on the figure.

When you carving, you will get some metal spot on the stone, it's a very BAD LUCK to find one of them because it's a nightmare to try to carving, and you need to use diamond tools to avoid or eliminate it, on this figure I find a little metal spot on the wing and try to adjust the feathers with the line of the metal, that's why on the final pictures you will check a extra blink on the middle of the wing.

Step 7: More Details and More Deep Traces.

With the help of files and sharp tools like the dentist pike, you can define fine details and begin carving on stone, you need to check if the design need a deep or superficial carving, but go slowly, take your time and avoid apply pressure, you need to carve and give shape eliminating dust from the stone. Eventually you will get a very define shape and enough primary details to star with the polish and small details like the feathers rows.

Step 8: Given Extra FRAGILE STEEP.

When you finish with you carving and thinks all it's done, you need to make even more delicate and fragil your job, When I carve the hummingbird the little stone had 10mm width, with the help of sandpaper I reduce the width of the figure a just 1mm and the fragility and beauty of the figure raise a lot, this process need to be SLOWLY and on a flat surface, WITHOUT any pressure, just take your time and you will get a nicely width, each person that I give the final hummingbird, take with A LOT of care because it's very thin and don't wish to break it.

Step 9: FINISH JOB.

This delicate hummingbird carved and sculpt form flagstone, can resist more that you think, I drop several times and still resist, but show a very fragile finish, was sculpt for my little daughter Lenore and she loves it.

I like to protect the stone with Petroleum Jelly, give a GREAT BLACK finish and a nice aroma.

I sculpt this kind of stuff from several years ago and I always give like a present to important persons, it's a beautiful present and a great way to remember you, just try and enjoy the process, it's a nice Hobby too.


Thanks to all that enjoy this instructable and hope to add more on future, with several materials and adding precious metals (I take a jeweler course and now I can combine two beautiful arts)

Bye for now.

Mirko Prado.

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    23 Comments

    0
    snavewinter
    snavewinter

    Tip 1 year ago on Step 9

    Check with a magnet the stone before sculpt, if you feel that the magnet attract with little force the stone, them avoid using it, because the stone could have some metal in the interior and will be a nightmare try to sculpt something on it.

    0
    Penolopy Bulnick
    Penolopy Bulnick

    1 year ago

    That is beautifully done! Such impressive detail :)

    0
    snavewinter
    snavewinter

    Reply 1 year ago

    Thanks, hope I can show more creations on future.

    0
    SueM62
    SueM62

    1 year ago

    Mirko, this is so beautiful! Thank you for the wealth of information you give--all of the tricks and tips you have learned over the years. You have shown me what to do--I hope with practice that I can do something similar. Thank you!

    0
    snavewinter
    snavewinter

    Reply 1 year ago

    Thanks to you, all the experience become from test-and-error, I break A LOT jobs before, but, I learn how to work with stone and the patience need it to do it, just practice and eventually you could made it.

    0
    Mihsin
    Mihsin

    1 year ago

    As if I'm looking at an immortal Mayan or Aztec tomb carving. Great work, yet simple. How did you remove the access parts off the beak? By chisel or files? For other followers/readers on how to trace the drawing onto the stone, I suggest using a vibro-ingravor.

    0
    snavewinter
    snavewinter

    Reply 1 year ago

    Hi, and thanks for your appreciation, I remove the access part using small saws and files, you need to be very gentle to avoid break the stone, using a VIBRO-INGRAVOR it's not a good option on fragile stones, the vibration could break easily the entire job, just use a small metal with a sharp edge and make the lines.

    0
    DavidH291
    DavidH291

    1 year ago

    Mirko, this is great! I've been looking for ideas to use for inlays in woodworking projects, and I'd love to try this out. I have a couple questions though. For drawing the initial lines, do you use the dental tools? Also, for the initial large cuts to cut away the excess material, what tool do you use?

    0
    snavewinter
    snavewinter

    Reply 1 year ago

    Hi Davis and thanks for asking, for first lines, you can use any tool with a sharp corner or a metal point, really don't matter what you can use, the initial lines are just referential.

    To remove the excess of material, I use a useful and little saw. Please check my tools pictures; you will have an excellent idea of how I create and reuse materials to make my sculpts.

    0
    AMbros Custom
    AMbros Custom

    1 year ago

    Nicely carved, what you used to finish and polishing stone.

    0
    snavewinter
    snavewinter

    Reply 1 year ago

    Hi there, thanks for your question, to finish the job and depends on the level of details that you wish, you can use just san paper 500 to 3000, don't forget to use it with water and you will get a GREAT mirror finish with the high number on sandpaper.

    0
    ajoshfan
    ajoshfan

    1 year ago

    Mirko, this is absolutely lovely! Great photography, too; you have many gifts! I grew up in upstate NY way back in the Catskill Mountains, where there was natural flagstone all over the place. Many peoples' life work was quarrying it. I tried a little bit of sculpting it when I was a kid, but now you have inspired me to collect some more flag stone on my next trip and bring your inspiration to the task. Thank you!

    0
    snavewinter
    snavewinter

    Reply 1 year ago

    Thanks so much, yes the Flagstone is one of the most versatile materials to sculpt, very easy to find and have high resistance, when carving and finishing, allow great detail level and will be there forever, hope you can find some great pieces of Flagstone and start carving, it's not very difficult to do little arts with it, just enjoy the experience.

    0
    SueP170
    SueP170

    1 year ago

    Great carving....you certainly have a gift, this is truly impressive!

    0
    snavewinter
    snavewinter

    Reply 1 year ago

    Thanks, Susan, I sculpt stones from childhood, so I practice a lot, I will post more jobs in the future.

    0
    AnandM54
    AnandM54

    1 year ago

    Wow.....impressive idea and work!!

    0
    snavewinter
    snavewinter

    Reply 1 year ago

    Thanks for your comment, I will post more jobs in the future.

    0
    Josiah Miller
    Josiah Miller

    1 year ago on Step 9

    this is cool! I tried something similar and it did not turn out as well as yours. NIce work!

    0
    snavewinter
    snavewinter

    Reply 1 year ago

    Thanks so much, just keep trying and you will get results.