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michelangelo

©karin-van-ommeren-ilario-bessi-beeldhouwer“Artisans working in Marble” historical photograph, Pietrasanta, by Ilario Bessi, from his book: “Il Marmo Ieri e Oggi.”

“Every block of stone has a statue inside”

That is what Michelangelo said. But how to get it out of that block? That has been a question for some time.

©karin-van-ommeren-sculptor

One way was to make a model and copy it into the stone. In the 17th century they worked with frames which were put on top and beneath the stone. From these frames one could find the perpendicular lines and measure the volume that had to be taken off.

Later on the craftsmen started using compasses. By putting some main points on the stone they are able to take very precise measures that help to carve the form in the stone.

Both methods are still used today, but new techniques showed up.

©karin-van-ommeren-stonesculpture

Now we live in a very different period. We have robots to carve the stone. Computer guided machines cut the shape out of the stone. A new approach which opens new possibilities. It could, for instance, be easier to make multiples in stone sculpture, which is usually only done in bronze sculpture. And another important fact is that these special computer programs also offer us a way to keep records of cultural, historically important monuments.

One can feel the form inside the stone, but our eyes aren’t good enough to see until the shape of the stone starts to guide the eyes.

I make my sculptures in Pietrasanta, Italy.

Visit my website: www.karinvanommeren.com

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