Useful Tips

Interior Design and Architecture


Stone carving is one of the varieties of sculpting art. This type of creativity requires special patience and special perseverance, due to the fact that stone is an unpredictable material and it is rather difficult to give the required shape due to its high density.

History of Stone

This type of art was especially widespread in ancient China. The secrets of stone carving are carefully kept by Chinese masters, and only they know how to make the finest patterns on a cobblestone.

Jade was considered an invaluable material for carving, made of imperial regalia, signs of special distinction.

Soon there was an art carving. From stones began to be cut out personal items for the home, jewelry, various bottles, figurines and figurines, books.

Later, the art of stone carving spread to other empires and is popular to this day. There are different types.

The Bornukovo (Nizhny Novgorod) carving is well known in Russia:

Tips for beginners

If you decide to join the stone carving, we suggest that you familiarize yourself with some of the features of work for beginners.

First of all, before starting work, you need to choose the right stone. If you have little experience in carving and a small set of tools, steatite will be the best material. It is easy to process, it does not require much effort.

But keep in mind that some varieties of soapstone contain absinthe, prolonged inhalation of which is a health hazard.

Alabaster or limestone have the best pliability / wear ratio.

Avoid hard rocks (granite, marble). Only special equipment is suitable for their processing; it is rather difficult to make something from them with your own hands.

The size of the stone should exceed the expected result of the thread.

Check the stone for cracks. Since this is a natural material, it will not be possible to completely avoid flaws, but it is better to have a minimal amount. This will reduce the risk of stone splitting during operation.

Necessary tools

So, the material is selected. Now you need to prepare the tools.

Keep in mind that you must use a dust mask when working. The best respiratory protection option is a respirator. To reduce dust, moisten the stone with water before starting the thread. Also, to prevent pieces of stone from getting into your eyes, wear safety glasses.

Do not forget about gloves. Get a good hammer, chisel and file.

The hammer must have two flat surfaces. This makes it easier to strike frequently against the chisel. The most important bit is a flat bit, with a metal surface on both surfaces. A serrated chisel is not a necessary tool, but it can greatly facilitate the process of cutting thin parts.

The finish is given to the product with a file. Stone selected, protective equipment ready, tools found. The next step is a sketch of the product. Next, sketch the chalk on the stone itself. Mark lines on all sides of the stone. Remember that the product will be three-dimensional.

Move on to the process

Now, holding a hammer in your leading hand, and the chisel in your free one, you can begin to carefully process the stone, the technology will not cause much trouble.

Carve in the middle of the stone, not on the periphery.

Chisel work parallel to cracks, not perpendicular to them.

Apply the final touches to the product with a file.

Polish the finished product with sandpaper.

Your little work of art is done!

From stones you can make many interesting crafts:

  • natural stone candlestick,

Features of manufacturing gems

Intalia and cameos are performed both on soft types of stones and on minerals of a high degree of hardness. All types of stones were processed manually or using simple machines with rotating cutters. Among the soft types of stones can be called the following, which are the most popular among masters:

  • Steatite - this mineral, in fact, is a kind of dense talc. Steatite also has many other names: wax stone, ice stone, talchochlorite, tulikivi (which in Finnish means "hot stone"), soapstone and wen.

Steatite Seals - Intalia

  • Hematite - This is a widespread mineral of iron, one of the most important iron ores. In Greek, the name of the mineral means "blood - red." In common people, hematite is called red iron ore.

Brooch "Mirror Cameo" on hematite

  • Serpentine - This is the scientific name of the mineral, popularly known as a serpentine. A similar name was given to the stone because its color options are similar to the colors of snake skin.

Cameo pendant »Tulips» solid serpentine

The ancient masters did not need too complicated equipment to create intalia and cameos. It was enough to have a set of durable cutters, a special machine and some types of abrasive substances that were used to apply the image to very hard types of minerals, among which the following could be mentioned:

  • Agate - is one of the varieties of quartz, and is a mineral with a banded color, which is often formed in a pattern in the form of an eye. Very beautiful jewelry is made from agate.

Cameo pendant »Goldfish» whole agate

  • Cornelian - is one of the varieties of chalcedony. The mineral can have an orange, tan, bright yellow, orange - red and pink - red color.

Carnelian Cameo »Enchanted Castle»

  • Garnet - It belongs to the group of minerals and represents transparent, very beautiful stones of dark and blood-red color - almadines and pyropes.

Agate cameo ring

  • Chalcedony - is one of the varieties of quartz. A translucent mineral can be painted in different colors, and each mineral is called in its own way: red - carnelian, brown - red - sarder, greenish - chrysoprase, blue - sapphirin, matte dark green with red stripes - heliotrope.

Cameo on Chalcedony

  • Rhinestone - is pure silicon dioxide of natural origin. Due to the absolute transparency and high decorative properties of the mineral, it has long been used for the production of jewelry and luxury goods. Currently, for the manufacture of cameos and intalia can also be used ordinary, artificial crystal or specially processed glass.

Crystal Cameo in Crystal

  • Sardonyx - is a variety of the famous mineral onyx. Sardonyx is characterized by coloration with alternating layers of reddish-brown and white.

Cameo on the sardonyx

To work with these minerals, abrasives were used because a conventional metal tool was not suitable for processing them, since it could not even scratch their surfaces.

In addition, cameos and intalia can be made on ivory, processed glass or marble.

Cameo "Girl" on marble

Thus, glyptic is the art of carving on precious, semi-precious and ornamental stones. This is one of the oldest forms of art, which has its origins in ancient times.

Many examples of relief images on minerals have survived to the present day, because the exceptional strength of the material made them truly eternal works of art, on which time has virtually no destructive effect.

Intalia »The Charm»

It was quite difficult to make intalia in the form of seals, because the plot or drawing depicted on them had to appear in the opposite, mirror form. In addition, the products were, as a rule, very small, so the master could be engaged in the manufacture of one intaglio for a long time.

Amber at Amber

Stone carving

I would like to know how this stone carving was made?

In my practice, I met with the application of patterns on the surface of a stone. But basically, we all did sandblasting. The drawings turned out to be very distinct and if they were made on the steps, an anti-slip effect was created, and outwardly the product, for example, the staircase looked very original.

I don’t think that such a method was used here - the pebbles are too small, and the cost of materials and time spent on using special films and processing are large.

Yes, and, in fact, stone carving this also does not name.

Still stone carving - this is manual work, when the carver processes the stone, he spends too much time and effort. This is perfect for complex and expensive work, such as carving fireplaces, small sculptures and other products, the cost of which will be adequate with the cost of manufacturing and carving the stone.

I think this is engraving. And most likely the engraving is not mechanical, but laser.

There is such equipment where the cutting element is a laser beam. It cuts off the top layer on a stone, creating a relief. Using a computer program, you can specify absolutely any pattern, or, as in this case, the inscription and the laser installation will cut them on a stone.

If you have other ideas about how stone carving was made on these pendants, then write about it in the comments.

It will be interesting to know your opinion.

I have no doubt that together we will be able to answer this question and I will write in detail about it. If a You are also interested, then subscribe to updates

Stone carving. Photo pendants

A beautiful image of a dragon on a stone pellet.

By the way, How to make a dragon, you can see in the master class "products from malachite":

A beautiful bird is engraved on this stone:

Also a representative of birds is depicted on the pebble:

It looks like this is a peacock carved:

In bird nests there is also such

Volumetric carving of trees:

Also a tree, but carved the other way around:

Butterfly carved in stone:

Perhaps these are traces of ancient people?

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Stone Carving: How did it all begin?

The fact that it is possible to carry out interesting manipulations with the stone, a person became aware of many thousands of years ago. People tried to use stones in everyday life, giving them a convenient shape. So the first tools, devices for hunting and even jewelry arose. Over time, stone carving has become more diverse, people have learned to use the skills of working with stone to improve everyday life, both from a practical and aesthetic side.

An interesting fact is that in stone carving as a craft, everyone can find for themselves, realize their creative potential and make good money with their own hands. Someone gets exquisite statues for interior design, while someone succeeds in cutting precious stones.

Glyptic of ancient times

The mastery of stone carving was known to the Egyptians and Assyrians. Grace and extraordinary beauty strike the imagination of gems of Ancient Egypt, Sumer, Babylon and Assyria.

The oldest glyptic works created in Mesopotamia and Egypt date back to the 4th millennium BC, which indicates a high level of craft development in these states. These were mainly prints - intaglings, the prints of which are compositions on mythical themes.

Egyptian Intalia

More ancient glyptic works are also known. These are the famous gems of Urartu, created in the 9th-7th centuries BC. Iranian gems are also known, the manufacture of which dates back to the 6th-5th centuries BC.

The seals of Ancient Egypt usually took the form of a sacred beetle - a scarab. Hieroglyphs or images of mythical characters were carved on their underside. But on the gems of Crete (III - II millennium BC) portrait images of people first appeared.

The art of glyptic reached its heyday in Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome. It was here that unique samples of products made from precious and semiprecious stones were created, which today still surprise with their grace and subtlety of work.

Greek gems often had the form of scarabs borrowed from Egypt. In the 5th - 4th centuries BC, forms of ancient glyptics developed, which are commonly called classical. The gems of that time depicted figures of gods and heroes, animals and birds, as well as popular scenes from mythology.

Until the 4th century BC, the manufacture of intaglia was widespread - a kind of gem that gave convex mirror images on impressions in soft wax or plastic clay.

And only the ancient Greek masters for the first time mastered the art of making carved embossed cameos, which became real works of painting in stone. In the Hellenistic era, the art of glyptic flourishes not only in the mainland of the ancient Greek state, but also on individual islands - Cyprus, Samos, Chios, Melos, as well as in Ionian cities. The beautiful cameos, masterfully executed by Greek stone carvers, were primarily used as jewelry.

Cameo bracelet

During this period cameos from the multi-layer semiprecious sardonyx stone came into fashion. These products often reached significant sizes. Therefore, such paintings in stone could well be used to decorate the interior of residential premises.

Cameo in the interior

At the palaces of the monarchs, portrait glyptics became extremely popular, some of which have survived to this day and gained worldwide fame. Among them can be called a cameo with an image of the ruler of Egypt - King Ptolemy II.

Cameo with the image of Ptolemy II.

Also widely known throughout the world Gonzag Cameo, on which relief images of King Ptolemy II Philadelphus and his wife Arsinoe II were painted. This work of carved art was completed in the III century BC. To date, the cameo is stored in Russia, in the museum collection of the Hermitage. Gonzag's cameo is made of a three-layer sardonyx, and is a paired portrait of the royal spouses, who, by their origin, were brother and sister.

Gonzag's cameo with the image of Ptolemy II and Arsinoe II. The product is made in the III century BC in Alexandria, Egypt

The cameo of Emperor Constantine, made of sardonyx in the 4th century AD, is of great interest for its artistic performance. Today this unique work is in the museum exposition of the Hermitage.

Cameo of Emperor Constantine

The subjects of the plots depicted by the ancient masters are diverse and cover various spheres of life. In intalia and cameos, one can see a reflection of the spiritual and material world of our ancestors, their religious beliefs, the development of culture and the most important political events, as well as images of famous people of that time.

The beautiful appearance of the great commander Alexander of Macedon is also captured in a cameo of amazing beauty. Currently, a unique product is located in the Paris cabinet of medals.

Cameo with a portrait image of Alexander the Great

Famous Glyptic Artists

Almost every historical period had its own wonderful masters of glyptics. In ancient Rome, the famous Greeks Agatopus, Solon and Dioscurid created. In the Middle Ages, the art of glyptic developed in Byzantium, the Middle East and China.

In Western Europe, glyptics revived in the Renaissance, in which the leading role belonged to Italian masters. Among them are Bellini, Jacopo da Trezzo, who not only copied antique designs, but also created portraits of contemporaries.

The last flowering of the art of glyptic was observed in the period from the 18th to the beginning of the 19th centuries, in the era of classicism. At that time, everyone was talking about the craftsmanship of Italian Pichler carvers. In Germany there was the famous carver Nutter, and in France - Jacques Yue.

In Russia, the most famous carvers of this time were Esakov, Shilov and Dobrokhotov. In the 19th century, the art of glyptic fell into decay again, although people continued to admire and admire the works of ancient masters.

However, the approaching 21st century has made its own adjustments, and carving on precious stones has again become a popular form of art. In particular, cameos and intalia are very popular these days in jewelry.

Cameos on brooches

Modern stone carvers in their art are in no way inferior to the most ancient masters - on the contrary, many modern tools and technologies have appeared in their arsenal that greatly facilitate the process of stone processing and the application of the most delicate and elegant images on it.

Ring with intalia

Thread steps

Any stone carver knows that a project begins with a sketch and carving is no exception. Эскиз появляется на бумаге, затем перевоплощается в небольшую модель из глины или пластилина для оценки соблюдения пропорций. Если вы только пробуете себя в новом деле, начните с абстрактных форм, не уделяя внимания деталям.Small elements are difficult and they will begin to turn out only with time.

Work with a stone begins with giving it the desired shape. Using a hammer, the tool works from the center to the edge to reduce the likelihood of accidental chips. It is very important not to forget to work along the cracks that form. The final touches are easy to apply with a file, grinding is done with ordinary sandpaper. Shape irregularities and asymmetries can easily be fixed with additional tools, cutting and trimming. Both simple crafts and real works of art can be carved out of stone - it all depends on skill, patience, perseverance and creative vision.

Thread variation: brick work

An interesting option for stone processing is brick finish. A file of any size and shape is suitable for work. It is especially effective when working with a diamond-coated tool. Any stone surface lends itself to it, and the result exceeds expectations even among beginner craftsmen. Working with a diamond tool is simple and quick. Brick processing can be of several types:

  1. Burning tool. The stone is heated to 1000 degrees Celsius. As a result of processing, the upper layer melts while maintaining the structure.
  2. Scratching. In the process, the effect occurs on the texture of the brick, scratches form on the surface. The drawings are interesting and unusual. This processing method is the most popular and effective.
  3. Polished mirror - Another option for finishing bricks. From the outside, the surface becomes smooth as a mirror, while the picture itself harmoniously complements the picture with slightly blurry lines.
  4. With acid. The most unusual version of the effect on the stone. It is characterized by applying acid to a hot plate with short burning.
  5. Natural texture - the brick is given the appearance of massive natural stone, which is no different from ordinary cobblestone.
  6. Symmetrical bumps - processing allows you to give the brick the appearance of an ordinary rock with the help of improvised tools.

All these are simple types of stone finishes for simple crafts and designs. But there is another side to the coin - artistic carving. This is already art.

Art carvings and types

With minimal experience and skills to achieve the creation of artistic masterpieces of stone is not easy. Stone carving is a skill honed over the years. Experienced masters are able to breathe life into a huge block, give it a resemblance to a person, an animal, cut out a whole plot from it with several characters.

The Bornukovo carving is popular in Russia. This is one of the original and unique methods of stone processing, which has no analogues. He is distinguished by animalistic style and volume of figures. Most often, natural alabaster, blue or pink anhydride, single-crystal smooth gypsum are taken as the basis.

For other types of stone carving, both soft, supple rocks and hard ones are often chosen.

  • The softest stone - steatite. It is also called soap because of the structure. The breed is so flexible that when you click on it, fingerprints remain. It is important to select steatite samples without the inclusion of asbestos, which is hazardous to health.
  • Alabaster - The best stone for carving, especially for beginners. Its second name, “building gypsum,” speaks for itself. The breed is plastic, easy to handle and quite durable. Working with alabaster is a pleasure.
  • Another option is limestone. Just like alabaster, it is convenient to process, suitable for beginners. The only negative is the scarcity of shades that limit the possibilities for the development of creative potential.

It’s not enough to know what stones are called suitable for carving. It is important to understand the subtleties of using each of them. For example, steatitis, usually presented in gray, black and green colors, does not require special preparation and will be processed with a minimum set of tools. At the same time, its superelasticity is a serious drawback for creating small figures with an abundance of small details.

Limestone for work needs to be selected only that which can be polished, and building gypsum is the best option for practicing skills with a minimum set of tools, affordable and pleasant to use.

Of the materials difficult for work, suitable for experienced sculptors, marble and granite are distinguished. These breeds are suitable for the implementation of large-scale tasks, require a certain experience, skill, patience and tools. Masters have been working on one project for years, working only on individual parts continuously for 4-5 days.

What tools will be needed

As soon as it turns out to choose the right material for the job, it’s worth moving on to the issue of the toolbox. If you are a beginner and do not yet know where to start, we advise you to create a universal kit, which will include:

  • soft hammer - weight up to 900 g,
  • flat or serrated bit
  • files for working with different parts and areas,
  • bulk bag for the substrate,
  • protective equipment (gloves, mask, goggles),
  • atomizer with water to reduce dust during work,

In addition, templates, stencils and proper lighting will be needed if work is carried out indoors.

Marble Carving - Where Used

Marble for the sculptor, like a canvas for the artist. This is the most coveted and adored stone. It is used to create artistic masterpieces, actively used in architecture. The uniqueness of marble in its natural grace, beauty and strength, over the years only intensifying.

Marble sculptures are not only durable, they are immortal. It is important that the technical characteristics of the rock do not limit the possibilities of processing it by different methods. Marble slabs are ground, heated, crystallized and polished. If desired, the breed is artificially aged and, of course, marble carving is popular.

Exquisite marble carvings bring grace and royal luxury to the atmosphere. What are marble solid and durable steps, balustrades or a massive carved fireplace. A separate story is marble sculptures. To have one in your own garden is luxury and happiness. Graceful figures of animals, heroes of fairy tales and myths, ancient virgins and elves will become bright accents in the design of landscape design.

Actively use the technique of stone carving and craftsmen. Stone cutters use jade and jasper, rock crystal and coral, amethyst and turquoise, as well as other bright, different-quality stones to create miniature masterpieces, such as a shell with artistic carvings, such as colored figures of birds and animals.

If you are just starting to master the skill of stone carving, you already have any experience and even photos of finished works - share a post with friends on social networks for discussion!