Stone and marble sculpture

Stone carving is one of the earlier chapters of my artistic work. I was still doing it in my parents’ studio in Jarosław, where I started to make shy sculptural steps. Wood, and then stone, are the materials with which my first attempts and first orders are connected, initial small, purely craftsmanship exercises, thanks to which I got to know the sculptor’s artistic workshop. Like a medieval journeyman, I went through successive circles of initiation, from keeping the beginning in the studio, through learning to care for sculptural tools, and finally the theory and practice of chisel work. Long and arduous development finally resulted in my first independent orders (2012 – a tombstone for a child), but I never gave up on my parents’ advice, which was invaluable to me from a workshop point of view. However, I do not deny that artistically I am looking for my own niche, corresponding to my intentions. I made the “female nude of pink marble” (see portfolio) according to the design of my father, Marek Blajerski, entirely in stone, as part of improving the technical skills necessary to independently “bring to life” a specific sculptural idea. I can say with full conviction that without the experience of my parents, I would not be able to make a sculpture at a high level. Today, what counts for me is the diligence and reliability of performance, attributes that are difficult to achieve, especially in the profession of an artist, and therefore all the more intriguing. The further history of my experiences leads through the materials and techniques necessary to achieve high artistic efficiency. I have carved in Carrara marble, Rosso Portugalo, travertine, limestone, sandstone and granite. Each of these stones has its own character, some are capricious, fragile, others relentless, each one should be approached with skill. One works in stone differently than in wood, although in some cases these differences are not diametrical, there are hard species of wood as well as soft stones that require similar treatment. Of course, stone processing does not cause such difficulties as in the aforementioned Middle Ages, after all, we have mechanical tools that make it easier and faster to work in the first stage of extracting a shape from a rectangular block. In my case, manual stone tools, i.e. hail or scissor cutters, are only used to output the texture on the stone, which I define using angle grinders and straight milling machines with diamond cutters. Hand tools for stone processing, such as diamond files of various cross-sections, are allowed for carving when the most important surfaces are defined and refined with power tools and when these become redundant in the face of having to reach into hard-to-reach nooks and crannies. Just like wood in the final stage of work, the stone can be sanded with sandpaper in the order from the coarsest gradation, i.e. 40, to the finer ones: 80, 100, 120, up to 220, or even 320. Interestingly, the last measures quickly lose their right of existence due to the nature of the stone itself – this oxidizes after a few years and returns to its natural surface within the gradation of 120. Stone is very demanding and its processing is time-consuming. Typical mistakes that can be made when working with this material are, for example, hitting the hailstone at an angle of 90 degrees towards the stone, which can lead to its “strangulation”. Working with milling machines is much safer when it comes to the possibility of this type of damage. Unfortunately, it is impossible to cover up hasty cuts in the body by gluing pieces of stone. The procedure is completely different with wood, where even the greatest masters of this material make corrections and retouching. Hence, the stone is more ambitious, makes greater demands, and rarely reciprocates. In working in stone, the end result is what counts for me. If I do not consider the sculpture to be finished, it means that there is still a lot of work ahead of me.