The sketches are organic pod-like shapes with seeds or fruit inside and a textured exterior. But I've also been thinking along the lines of fossils contained in rock, so need to do a bit of research on that. Meanwhile, the shape is much smoother, which is what reminded me of those pieces of fossil-containing rocks that you see people madly hammering on to split open on the beach!
Some more shaping and smoothing done today. I think this is going to be some sort of pod with contents. I've just realised this is another piece of Cenerino alabaster like the one I carved my second crow from. I'm really pleased as this has layers of black and ochre colours which should look very good when polished. When you're carving it's hard to see exactly what colour the stone is when it's covered in alabaster dust, until you smooth and wash it and then the darker colours show clearly.
Meanwhile.... I'm also starting on the bigger piece of alabaster that I had intended to carve a head from. It's cut from a larger slab, so is smooth on one side and very rough and craggy on the other.
Well, it's been a long break - 5 weeks because of the Bank Holiday, but we started back on Monday and the fish is progressing, while I decide what to do with the larger bit of alabaster that was going to be a head, but now isn't!
I'm working on the fin detail now, but having to be careful as it's getting very thin and fragile.
The head has not been going well! I'm not happy with the shape or with using soap stone. It's time to give this project a rest and maybe come back to it later or use the stone for something else.
Meanwhile I'm going back to using alabaster and for now continuing with my small alabaster fish.
The head is still progressing, but rather slowly! Unfortunately it doesn't look much like the person it's supposed to be, which is disappointing. Altering it now would mean trying to reshape the whole of the profile (the nose, forehead and chin are wrong - and actually that doesn't leave much else!) and involve cutting deep into the stone which would be difficult as there's not much depth to it from back to front.
So I think I'll carry on with the existing profile and see if something reasonable is salvageable, even if not what I had in mind initially.
Meanwhile, I've also been working on a small fish carving from a little bit of alabaster offcut from a previous project.
I started writing this blog in December 2016, but it covers projects started in spring 2015 onwards, so it was written retrospectively until I caught up with the current term.