A stone bowl carved from orange alabaster.
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Step 1: The Tools
Tools for hand held carving:
1. Face mask
2. Small hammer
3. Leather gloves
4. Small piece of Alabaster Stone (orange alabaster in picture)
5. Needle pick
6. Coarse and fine rasps & files (small to medium in size)
7. Mini (watch) screw drivers (used as chisels)
Step 2: Start Chipping
Start by drawing a circle with a marker on a flat side of the stone, of which will be the opening of the bowl. Then, with your face mask and gloves on, grab the small hammer in one hand, and a sturdy needle pick in the other hand. Begin by gently striking with the pick and hammer at the interior of the drawn circle (be aware that the bowl needs a rim as well- leave about 5mm to 7mm space from the edge of the stone to form a rim). Start chipping away the stone to slowly reveal the cavity of the bowl (see pics). Feather blow by blow, chip by chip, flake away the alabaster to carve out the bowl from the stone. Be careful not to strike so hard that the stone cracks or worse, breaks. Keep coarsely chipping away the bowl of the stone. Do this until the desired depth is reached, just before the bottom of the stone is reached. See pictures for example of how this looks..when done move on to the next step.
Step 3: Forming the Body of the Bowl
Now that the bowl is formed, we will need to shape the body of the bowl from triangular shape to more of an oblong round odd shape.
To do this, grab a coarse/spiked file or rasp. Start by filing the stone vigorously until all sides are to the desired curvature. Work the sides of the stone. Be aware the Alabaster is a soft stone, so not to much pressure on the stone, just enough to warm it and shape it. See pics for example. After this step is done, you should have a coarsely carved mini stone bowl. Move on to the next step.
Step 4: Fine Chisel and Filing
Now that our bowl is carved with the needle pick, we need to smooth it out with a mini flat head chisel. I use mini glasses or watch screw drives for this purpose, they make great mini chisels. To continue, just as with the hammer and needle pick, lightly hammer the mini chisel against the inside and bottom wall of the bowl to flatten and smooth out the ridges created by the pick. You can also use a flat tipped file by vigorously "scrapping" the bottom of the bowl to flatten it out as desired. Use a needle nose file and a medium sizes file to file smooth the inside and outside walls of the bowl as pictured.
After this step, there is just one more step to follow...
Step 5: Oil to the Stone
Now that the mini stone bowl is finished, it will need to be polished as its sure to be quite dusty looking. I use stone polishing oil or just household mineral oil to add glow to my stones. Wash the stone bowl under running water, dry, then grab a cloth. Dip an edge of the cloth to the oil, then work that oil into the stone to reveal its beauty as pictured. See pics for examples of what the final bowl looked like.
Step 6: The Finished Bowl
Once finished, don't forget to add your signature to the bottom of the bowl.