Mallets and Hammers
The hammer is a much maligned tool, perceived by many as simply a blunt instrument. Here at Alec Tiranti, we know nothing could be further from the truth. Far from being a simple tool, in the right hands a sculptors mallet and hammers can be compared to the instrument of a musician or the pen of a poet. Such a conduit of expression, it is critical that a sculptor has access to the right tool for each task. After all, you wouldn’t present a pianist with a violin. To this end, our range of carving mallets and hammers are specially selected to offer every artist the widest possible choice of tools of different sizes and materials, all manufactured to the highest standards.
Scopas lump hammers are made from malleable iron for the safety of the user – less inclined to chip or splinter. These are not just basic tools in the vein of a workman’s hammer, they are designed to be balanced and durable to yield consistent performance for an extended period. The high quality ash handle provides a slight compliance which improves comfort and reduces fatigue. They make great stone hammers as they are ideal for use with steel chisels.
Just as a golfer will have their preferred club for a given shot, so different stone carving mallets can be used when working different materials, or on different parts of the same project. To complete an entire, complex sculpture with various levels of texture and detail using only a single stonemasons mallet is a project few artists would be prepared to commit to. Different stone mallets respond differently, and are suited to different techniques. And then of course, there is always the matter of personal preference.
Our five sizes of beech mallets are turned from kiln dried beech, perfect for woodcraft as they can be used without causing damage to materials or equipment. Ranging from three to five inches, these are a simple and practical design produced to the highest standard. A more heavy duty option are our hard wearing nylon mallets which come with a wooden handle in weights of up to 1.4kg.
Some stone and wood carving mallets are designed for a particular task or type of work. A good example of these specialist tools are dummy mallets (Scopas and Italian brands are available). The narrow malleable iron head concentrates the force and allows for excellent articulation in use. These qualities make dummy mallets ideal for intricate carving work, such as lettering.
Our Sculpt Nouveau Products
Patina is a word used to describe the effects of the process of ageing metals by, the change in the chemical composition of the surface of an object over time. These changes are identified by variations in the texture and colour of the surface material, and specifically, include layers of oxide which build up on that material. It could, therefore, be said that rust is probably the most widely recognized form of patina. The word is also used in connection with non-metallic materials, such as wood and leather; in these cases, ‘patina’ usually refers to a worn or distressed appearance, rather than a chemical state.
Patina type metal finishing products are used to intentionally initiate (or in some cases, simulate) the chemical reactions which cause corrosion and therefore patinate the surface of the metal. As a result, the kind of oxidation or discolouration which would usually build up over a great many years can be achieved in just a few hours.
At Alec Tiranti, we carry a wide range of Sculpt Nouveau metal finishing products which can add various patina finishes to steel, copper, aluminium, tin, and other metals. We offer Sculpt Nouveau products because they provide the artist with the means to control the patination process and achieve ageing effects of unparalleled quality.
Suitable for application by brush or spraying, simply select the shade which matches the material you are working in. Other finish colours from Sculpt Nouveau include blue, green and brown, with each product carefully formulated for superior results when applied to the recommended materials. If you can’t find just what you’re looking for, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team who will be happy to help.
Sculpt Nouveau products, of which we are sole UK distributors, are also highly effective as antique restoration products. Restorers may prefer a patina effect to refinish a historic metal item, as it may often be more valuable in unrestored condition, despite being discoloured by patina. However, a damaged patina – where the oxidation has begun to flake off from the surface of the piece – may diminish its value further still. In these cases, refinish and restore products can be used to ‘repatinate’ the item, for an overall consistent finish.
Preparing your piece for patination, and preventing further reaction after the desired effect is attained, are key to successfully achieving these finishes. Sculpt Nouveau also produce metal preparation products such as degreasers, and top coats and lacquers.
We can always offer technical help and assistance with your application, if there is anything you are struggling to find, or have specific questions about Sculpt Nouveau or any of our other products, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.
An Overview of our Jesmonite Products
Jesmonite has become a firm favourite with users worldwide and with good reason: since the acrylic-modified gypsum composite was first formulated in the 1980s, the advantages which set Jesmonite apart as a sculpting medium have captured the imagination of artists and craftspeople in a wide range of fields.
Anecdotes indicate that many artists find using Jesmonite to be a convenient and rewarding process. The composite is smooth and easy to work and takes additives (such as pigments and metal powders) very well, which gives the user a wide range of options when it comes to colours and finishes. Popular finishes include several which mimic metal and stone.
A retarder can also be added to the mix, which will slow down the setting process and allow you more time to complete fine and intricate surface work.
Jesmonite also produce their own high grade quadaxial glass reinforcement material for additional strength when building mould supports and structural conditioning.
One of the best reasons to buy Jesmonite was that the products were conceived from the start as a low hazard material, therefore no harmful solvents are used during mixing and the finished composite gives off no toxic fumes. This makes it safer to work with than other resins. It is also much lighter than other alternatives such as cast concrete, or plaster.
Still not convinced? Since all products from this brand are water based, it is one of the most environmentally sound mediums around. This also means that cleaning up after Jesmonite casting is simply a matter of washing down your implements with water (although you might not want to flush it down the standard drains – we always recommend that you use a plaster trap).
Here at Alec Tiranti, our goal is to bring our customers the finest tools and materials available. After so many years of supplying professionals across a wide range of creative disciplines, we have learned to listen to what our clients need and react accordingly.
Jesmonite is a UK product which fits the brief perfectly in terms of quality and flexibility, and we are proudly offering it alongside our more traditional casting and mouldmaking mediums.
With over a century of history, we are determined to remain at the forefront of the sculpting and modelling supplies industry.
Our website is designed to offer help and assistance to our customers, as well as your first port of call for sculptors’ tools, materials and studio equipment for carving, modelling, mouldmaking, casting & restoration. You are sure to find all the tools and information for creating Jesmonite sculptures, including the mould making and casting processes. Still, if there is anything you are struggling to find, or have specific questions about Jesmonite or any of our other products, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.
When it comes to ceramics and pottery, Alec Tiranti have over 120 years of industry experience, supplying the best products to artists in the UK and beyond. We offer a wide variety of pottery clays and other materials, glazes, potters wheels, tools, kilns and other accessories.
Pottery Clays and Materials
Our range of pottery clays includes stoneware clays like our grey clay, terracotta clay, millennium white stoneware, crank stoneware, to the earthenware clays like, professional white earthenware, extra smooth earthstone, architectural eathstone, black chunky crank and black smooth. Then we have the more specialist clays like royal porcelain with its fine white finish. These clays can be used for a variety of modelling, building and throwing applications, we are constantly updating the range of clays to satisfy customer requirements.
TS Flax Paper Clays have fine fibres of flax and cellulose added through a range of clays to increase strength and flexibility while keeping weight down. Available in a range of body clay types including smooth stoneware, earthenware, porcelain, terracotta and chunky crank, flax paper clays will accept a range of firing types and glazes.
There are a range of options when it comes to casting slips, ideal for making thin walled cast clay pieces. The casting slip is poured into a plaster mould and slush moulded by turning the mould as the slip dries, additional layers can be poured into the mould until the desired thickness is attained and the piece then removed from the mould prior to firing.
We also offer a range of nylon reinforced clays like Newclay, Claydium and Super Sculpey, these clays are designed for building a range of models and decorative pottery, they are ideal for some users because often they can be air dried (no kiln) or even fired in a domestic oven.
Our glazes will ensure that your product will be finished to a high professional standard, offering striking good finish and a range of vivid colours and effects. We offer a wide range of different types of glazes, underglazes and lustres, in an array of finishes, including gloss, matt, metallic, crystal and crackle.
Pottery Tools and Equipment
We offer a large selection of pottery tools and equipment. These tools refer to smaller products for use with clay such as rolling pins, strip tools, wooden ribs, coiler tools, handle makers, knives, hole cutters, needles, clay extruders and guns, slip trailers, pallet knives, bow harps, clay cutters, turning tools, and more. We also supply pottery tool sets, which includes ribs, hardwood and stainless-steel modelling tools, ribbon tools, knives, sponges, needle tools, and loop tools. Our equipment also includes larger items like potters’ wheels, pug-mills, manual extruders, spray booths and clay rollers.
Kilns and Accessories
At Alec Tiranti, we supply a range of different kilns, including L&L kilns and Nabertherm kilns, as well as a selection of kiln accessories. Available in a range of sizes and types to suit a variety of requirements from the occasional small modeller to the professional pottery.
Our selection of kiln accessories includes, kiln batts, props, stilts and cones. Kiln Batts are the support or shelf that the workpiece sits on while it is in the kiln, Props support the Batts off the base of the kiln floor and allow heat to be distributed equally around the piece. Stilts are placed between the shelf
If you would like more information about our ceramics and pottery products, or if you can’t find the exact products you’re looking for, please get in touch with us through our online contact form, or by emailing us at email@example.com. Alternatively, you can also call us on +44 (0)1635 587430 in order to speak to a member of the team directly. We will be happy to help you with any questions you may have for us.
Stone Carving Tools
Many of the tools used for stone carving have designs and principles dating from the earliest of times, Stonemasonry transfers principles of woodcarving into carving shapes and designs into stone of all types.
Alec Tiranti have been supplying specialist tools to sculptors, artisans and specialists for around 130 years. Our tools have been developed and selected for their quality and practicality, matching operators to tools as diverse as chisels, mallets and hammers, to workbenches and turntables.
Good tools are an important choice for any craftsman and the way a tools fits into the hand greatly influences the finished piece. Choosing tools is a very personal issue in any craftsman’s mind, the choice of tool, size, shape and weight are all key factors and can in fact have as great an influence as the type of stone being carved. We can also provide pneumatic and electric powered tools for Stonemasonry and carving.
From basic starter to comprehensive sets of tools for the experienced carver Tiranti can also offer informed advice and assistance too.
When a block of stone arrives, it can often need to be split into smaller pieces, using drills, feathers and wedges, the carver can shape the block of stone into a “rough shape”. Then by using “Bush Hammers”, “Claw Chisels” or pneumatic tools with “Claw” attachments the rough shape can be refined and even partially defined, moving on to using finer chisels and a “Lump Hammer” or “Dummy Mallet”.
Refined shaping can be done using the finer chisels and either a metal “Dummy Mallet” in the initial phase, or a wooden or nylon mallet to finish off. Final finishing work is usually done using a range of rasps, files and rifflers.
Choosing Chisels and other tools
Stone carving chisels are available several types: flat, bullnose, gouge, claw, punch and point.
The flat chisel is just as it sounds; the cutting face is flat and parallel to the striking pin, available as either light or heavy chisel. Bullnose chisels have a slight convex bow across the cutting face, ideal for cutting across a large flat surface, the chisel edges are less likely to dig in. Gouge chisels have a semi-circular cutting face, these are used for cutting circular shapes into a flat surface. Claw chisels are toothed for roughing out work, they remove large amounts on a single strike and leave a patterned finish.
Letter Cutting Chisels are usually tungsten carbide tipped, typically these are much finer and designed only for detail and finishing work. Lettering work is a specialist skill and requires patience and practice in equal measure, available in seven (7) chisel sizes from 3 – 12 mm across the cutting face. The type of mallet stroke used for letter carving is also different, typically a shallower angle and a lighter strike.
Most letter carvers use an iron dummy mallet, using multiple lighter strikes at a shallow angle to prevent the slimmer chisel from getting stuck in the face of the stone. The choice of tool is very personal, so experienced stone masons often have tools for specific applications, and often these tools are indistinguishable, but the experience operator knows by sight and feel.
Soft to medium stone only requires a carbon steel tool, but for the harder stones (granite or marble) then the tungsten tipped tools are much better suited – many of the specialists opt for tungsten tipped tools for all stone.
Hammers and Mallets are also a very personal choice. “Lump Hammers” and “Dummy Mallets” are made here at Tiranti, cast in malleable iron and fitted with a Hickory handle and steel wedges. These can be used with flat head chisels and tools.
Bouchard – “Bush” Hammers were developed for roughing out large flat surfaces, the heavily serrated inserts can be mounted onto the hammer head and are located using either a taper or an expanding spigot. The smaller hammers rely on the taper and the larger type has the expanding spigot. The advantage is that the inserts can be removed, replaced, cleaned or re-profiled to suit an application.
“Soft” hammers and mallets is a bit of an oxymoron, the term referring to the material used for the hammer or mallet head. These are also known as “Dead Blow” hammers and mallets.
Most typically the hammer or mallet head is made from wood, plastic, rubber or leather. This type of hammer or mallet is typically less damaging to the tool being struck.
For the finer sculptures the marks left behind by chisels are considered unsightly, these can be removed and shapes refined by using rasps, rifflers and sanders. Rasps are typically used initially (although these are considered too harsh for softer stone), they remove the deep impact marks and claw marks left by pneumatic tools in particular. Rifflers are finer than a rasp, smaller and finely shaped to allow the user to refine even the smallest detail. We can also supply diamond coated rifflers for ultra-fine finishing. Sanders can be simple cork blocks wrapped in sandpaper, to the specialist blocks and files with diamond coated surface for abrading hard to reach places.
To keep tools in the best condition possible we offer a range of whetstones and oil stones, available in a range of sizes and shapes to allow the re-sharpening of even the more complicated gouges and claws.
Alec Tiranti manufacture a broad range of heavy-duty carving stands, workbenches and turntables to suit all types and sizes of stone carving. Three heights of “Banker” work stands (specials also available on request) all with three different work table sizes, each of these is also available with our specially developed “Banker Turntable” mounted on steel rollers with a centre mounted casting and rigid trackways to support even the very heaviest of stone sculptures. The superb Sculptors Heavy Bench is constructed in a similar way to the carving stands and this too can be fitted with a Banker Turntable if required.
Alec Tiranti staff can offer advice and support either by phone or from our shops at Thatcham or London, we also stock a large range of books on stone carving to improve skills from the beginner to the experienced artist returning after a break.
Contemporary Stone Sculpture – how to select different types of stone, transporting and how to select tools and finishing. How to use hand tools, pneumatic and electric tools.
The Art of Letter Carving – guiding the novice through the basics of classical lettering, tool types, stone selection and finishing techniques.
Direct Stone Sculpture – for the more advanced sculptor, this book gives more detailed information on power tools and finishing process’ also covers repairs and methods of lamination and stone polishing.
Tools for Restoration and Finishing
One of the most exciting stages of creating a sculpture, model or something similar, is the ultimate stage where you complete the finishing. Whether you are creating a completing new piece or restoring an older one to make it as good as new, you are bound to find our range of tools for restoration and finishing of use. Today, we’re going to focus our attention on these products and tell you more about them.
When it comes to sculpting, as any seasoned pro will know, you can’t just use any old knife you have lying around. It’s important that your tool is fit for purpose as each application has a corresponding ideal blade. It is important to consider the size, shape and profile for whichever task you are carrying out. In our craft knives range, we are sure to have the necessary tools for you whether you’re working with clay, paper, wood, or more.
Stencil brushes are ideal for stencilling on any material due to their tightly-packed bristles. This design ensures neat and solid outcomes for whatever you are stencilling. This technique is a common way to add decoration to various projects in a multitude of craft areas. Use these brushes with our great range of paints and lacquers.
Squirrel brushes are named so due to the hair that is used to make them. The result of using squirrel hair means that brushes are perfectly soft. This enables the user to wash large areas without impacting on other layers of paint. Watercolours are great for use with squirrel brushes.
Metal Finishing Products
We have a huge range of metal finishing products and tools, meaning that you can create almost any metallic effect you desire. Prior to using the finishing products, it is vital that you begin with a metal cleaner to prevent any contamination. To create an aged or weathered look of a patina finish, we have a variety of patina paints to brush or spray on. These can be used on metal surfaces to create a popular finish, with it being possible to achieve highly realistic oxidisation effects to give your piece an added authenticity. To accomplish a classic patina finish, explore our Sculpt Nouveau range, which combines tradition with modern science. You quite literally won’t find products like these anywhere else in the UK, as we are its sole distributor.
If you would like more information about our range of tools for restoration and finishing, please get in touch with us by either completing a contact form or emailing us on firstname.lastname@example.org. On our contact page, you can also find full details about how to get in touch with us directly. A member of our team would be happy to answer any questions you may have for us.
Experimenting with Patinas.
Achieving different finishes with metals is always great fun to do – Sculpt Nouveau Patina products allow this to be done safely and simply.
Applying patina products is great fun and really effective – all of the above were done cold and at room temperature.
Studio Furniture and Armatures –
Modified Student Stand (an example of how Tiranti can help customers):
Our extensive range of Modelling Stands, includes our metal Sketch and Student stands – robust, easy to use and lightweight. The aluminium folding legs give a very stable working platform for a variety of student modelling applications.
You can find the standard version of this modified unit here – https://tiranti.co.uk/products/student-stand-fixed-top-skid-feet
A customer rang the other day with a request – “I see you offer a version of the Student Stand 300 mm shorter – can you also fit it with the ball feet?” – The answer was of course “YES”
The customer then asked “how quickly can I have it?” – The answer was “10-14 days from order”
In fact our very talented workshop staff managed to turn the unit around in 7 days!
The result is a very high quality product at a reasonable price (we dont charge any extra for the shortened legs and mechanism – the ball feet option was an extra £ 80.00) – we should have charged more!
Studio Equipment and Armatures are an important products and service offered by Tiranti, we always offer our customers the best products and value for money.
We offer a vast range of armatures, modelling stands, turntables, for modelling and sculpture. Allowing the sculptor to position the workpiece at a comfortable working height. Making the sculpting task easier!
Sculpting tools and equipment where the foundation of the Alec Tiranti’s trade over a century ago, and they remain at the core of our business today. Few pleasures compare to adding the finishing touches to a finely crafted artwork, as unique as it is beautiful. However, if an artist is called upon to produce further examples of an existing design, a dilemma arises. It is impossible to re-create any existing piece perfectly, such is the nature of handmade articles. And it would likely take an artist longer to try to mimic an existing piece than it did to produce the work in the first place.
At this point, the artist may use a mould to produce multiple replicas of the piece without having to toil for countless hours over handmade re-creations. Modern mould making materials allow moulds to be produced quickly and easily, and these can then be used repeatedly to manufacture complete sets of pieces. The process is quite different from industrial mouldmaking, which usually involves heavier materials and a variety of machinery to produce many thousands of examples of a product. Artistic mould making equipment is much more delicate, the process more tactile. In keeping with the creativity of the craft of sculpture, the creation and use of sculpting moulds depends very much on the skill and dexterity of the producer.
At one time artists had to struggle with materials like wood, clay and plaster to create the moulds to replicate their works. Modern mould making materials, however, are manufactured with convenience and ease of use firmly in mind.
Liquid latex can be used with a wide range of sculpting materials, such as cements, plasters, waxes, and some resins. Pre-vulcanised latex is supplied as a liquid which dries at room temperature and can be applied to a piece by brushing or dipping. Latex thickeners are available to allow you to build up layers faster when coating pieces which do not feature fine details.
Silicone rubber can also be used to coat a range of sculpting materials, however, it’s important to choose the right consistency for the type of sculpture. If you need to check which is the best product for your purposes, feel free to contact our team for advice. RTV-101 is a specialist silicone rubber which can withstand exceptionally high temperatures, making it suitable for moulding metal items.
Polyurethane rubber dries to a hard consistency, making it ideal for capturing fine details. It is separated from the piece using a spray-on releasing agent.
Alginate is versatile, non-toxic and easy to use. It is a favourite with special effects artists and is ideal for creating masks and moulding body parts.
Hot melt vinyl rubber provides superior quality moulds without the need for preparing or release agents. However, handling the material when hot can be a challenge for beginners.
Other Mouldmaking Equipment
Alec Tiranti also supplies mould making equipment such as release agents, melting pots and application tools, for use with the above materials.
Casting is the process of using a mould to replicate its features, whereby a positive reproduction is taken from the negative of the mould. Beginners will want to start by using basic casting plaster to craft their products, but it is also possible to use heated wax or a low melt alloy, as well as using resins to chemically activate it. It is also recommended to use release agents, in order to stop the casting material from bonding to the mould, as well as for preventing any damage. Here we will cover some of the key elements when it comes to casting.
We have an extensive collection of products for casting plaster for whatever purpose you can imagine. Along with these basic materials, we also stock related products such as bowls, brushes, and knives. The plasters on offer have a different measure of strength and setting times, so be sure to select the one that is right for you. Additionally, we stock high alumina cement that sets in just 24 hours, and is also suitable for outdoor use.
When it comes to resins, we offer these in polyester, polyurethane and epoxy. Our polyester resins are available in combination with an array of different pigments for colouring clear and opaque resins alike, as well as offering a liquid hardener. When lasting or laminating with polyester resin it is often an essential step to also use parting or release agents, which we also stock here at Alec Tiranti. Polyurethane resins are ideal when casting with model kits, figures, for foundry tooling and for pattern making. Epoxy resin has a subtle straw-colour, and is great for asting, embedding, cold enamelling and coating. In addition, we also provide a range of resin sundries.
We have a number of general fillers for polyester resin, which are used for a range of reasons. Fillers can often help to improve hardness, scratch resistance and thixotropic qualities (having a viscosity that decreases when a stress is applied, as when stirred). Examples include marble, state and synthetic onyx. Furthermore, we have an extensive range of metal fillers, including aluminium, bronze, brass, copper and iron.
We have a range of tin alloys, which are suitable for hand or machine casting. We also stock a range of suitable tools, including electric metal melting pots, ladles, an ingot mould, sprue cutter, and bearing metal. The colour will stay the same when heated, and recommended temperatures are given, so care should be taken not to overheat the material.
Lastly, we stock the Centricast, which is a centrifugal casting and mould-making machine. This is ideal if you need to produce repeatable quantities of small objects. As well as the machine, we also offer mould plates, mould rings, former plugs, mould opener screws, stud clamps, and thumb nuts.
For more information about our products for casting, or any other items on our site, please get in touch with the team by filling out our web contact form, or by emailing us at email@example.com. Further details about how to contact us in either Thatcham or London can also be found on our contact page. A member of our staff will be pleased to assist you.
Here at Alec Tiranti, we have a wide variety of modelling tools that are perfect for sculptors. Although such tools are mostly used with clay, we have a range of categories, which includes an extensive collection of clay modelling tools, as well as those for wax. Other categories include those specifying the material of the tool, such as stainless steel, metal plaster, or wire. Read on to find out more about what we offer.
Clay Modelling Tools
In our clay modelling range, we offer hardwood tools for students, as well as those for professional usage. We also have plastic modelling tools, which are ideal for children and beginners, and those which combine materials. Additionally, we also stock clay shapers, which offers a new approach to working with clay and other materials, and finger tools, which are designed to shape fingers, toes, and hair texture, and are made of glass-infused plastic. Furthermore, our clay guns or extruders are ideal for creating extrusions for modelling and coil building. Lastly, we have a range of rubber kidney palettes used for pressing and smoothing clay in a mould.
Wax Modelling Tools
We have a selection of tools for use with wax, which are suitable for use with an alcohol burner, also stocked on our site. Our wax modelling tools are made from a fine stainless steel. We stock spare wick for alcohol burners, which provides you with a clean flame on methylated spirits and is vital when working with wax. The stainless-steel wax tools are available individually or as part of a set of nine tools, and measure around 15cm in length.
Our range of dental modelling tools are supplied as a set of twelve, but can also be purchased individually. With the precision and quality of tools used in dentistry, the finest details can be achieved when used in sculpting. They measure at approximately 14.5cm long and feature our usual textured grip to enable you to get a firm hold of your modelling instruments.
Modelling Tool Materials
We also stock a range of other modelling tools, including wire tools, which feature wire in various shapes at both ends of the tool, with a plethora of different sizes available. We offer a wide range of products in our stainless-steel category, with some tools catering to the needs of wax, and others of clay. These versatile tools can be used for a variety of purposes, including polymer clays, plastiline, and even plaster. We also stock a range of larger metal plaster tools, such as spatulas and griffons. Other products include flexible steel scrapers and joint rules.
If you have any questions about our range of modelling tools, or any other products, please get in touch with us by completing our web contact form, or by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also find out more details about how to contact us in either Thatcham or London from our contact page. A member of our team will be happy to help you.
Stone is a material famous for being hard-wearing, and as a result it has played an important part in human history. Most of the oldest relics of human civilization from around the world are stone articles, be they tools, weapons, or artistic pieces like figurines. Ever since then, stone carving has maintained its popularity, as a way of producing items which would prevail under the harshest conditions. Flint was an ideal material for arrowheads, and hunters used a technique called ‘knapping’ to create the shapes they wanted. When excavating the remains of ancient cities around the world, archaeologists have found many stone statues – some weighing hundreds of tons – created to celebrate the heroes and gods of the ancient world. Some of the most notable historical architecture has been the result of extensive stone carving, from Petra in Jordan to the neo-gothic cathedrals of many European cities. And many cultures still practice the tradition of inscribing the names of the deceased onto stones which will mark their final resting place and serve as a lasting memorial.
The techniques used to create stone sculptures of all kinds have changed little over the years. However, this doesn’t mean stone carving is an easy skill to truly master; ancient masterpieces like Michelangelo’s David still enthral enthusiasts and experts today. We can be sure that the old masters would only ever have used the very best tools available to them. Likewise today, any artist – whether they are a seasoned professional or a novice working on their first piece – can only hope to achieve the results they desire if they use first class stone carving tools.
Many first-time sculptors choose to start out with a stone carving kit. These comprise of all the basic tools you need to start out in your new hobby, and each individual piece can be upgraded as you progress. The biggest advantage of stone carving kits is that quality stone masonry tools in general can be quite expensive. Buying a kit is more cost effective than buying all the items individually, and you can always augment your collection if you see another tool which you think would be useful.
The primary tools for any budding stonemason are a hammer and chisel. With just these two basic items, it is quite possible to give yourself a good start in this enjoyable hobby. It’s worth remembering that stone is a very hard material, and after a while all stone carving chisels need sharpening. It won’t take long to get to this point if you are working in marble or granite. Diamond whetstones are the best way to keep your tools in peak condition, so that may be the next item to buy.
Alec Tiranti have been one of the leading suppliers of stone carving tools in the UK for many decades, and we know how important quality stone carving tools are to the dedicated professional and the hobbyist alike. Please see our website for our full range of stone carving supplies.