Stone Carving

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In a former life, I was an artist, specifically a sculptor. With a job, a wife, and kids, I find I don't have the time I used to have to devote to it. However, one day last Summer, I made time to sit on the deck in the sun and spend some time with my mallet and stone. While I was there, my son appeared and took interest in what I was doing. What kid doesn't like smashing things into pieces?? Stone sculpting may seem daunting but, depending on the stone, it can be quite safe and easy. Soapstone in particular is very soft and can be carved using a few basic tools, some of which you may have around the house. With a few inexpensive items you can give your kids a fun "craft" that you can share. I have always had a few extra chunks of stone lying around, so finding something for my son to carve was never an issue. 

Here are the basics. 

First, you need a rock hammer. In a pinch, a small trim hammer would do. However, I find that a proper rock hammer is more stable, shorter and easier to work with. Here is a good starter below.

If your kid gets "bit" by the artistic bug, there is a great set below to start out with that has a lot of the basics. 

If your kid is little and you are concerned about swinging hammers and chipping stone, no worries. Most soapstone can be carved with nothing more that files. Special file sets can be purchased, like the ones below.

Likewise, stone can be bought online at a variety of sources. If you live near a home improvement store, they often have broken chunks of limestone. Be careful, limestone is a more challenging carve due to its hardness.

With those, your kid can spend hours carving out a simple geometric shape, or a cute animal to sit in the window sill, limited only by their imagination.

Here is a quick video on carving....

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JeffR
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