New to sculpting and it saved my life and I'm loving it

by Graeme D
(Victoria, Australia )

this is the little frog I called midget and got me into sculpting

this is the little frog I called midget and got me into sculpting

Hi there fellow sculpters my name is graeme D and I'm from Victoria, Australia and I am brand new to this amazing hobby/lifestyle and thought I'd share a few things I've done in the 2 weeks that I've been carving/sculpting various stone.... (And yes I've caught the sculpting bug and I'm loving it.) So my story is quite the roller coaster ride well for the last 6-7 months it's has been but for a very long time before that I've tried different hobbies and various medication to manage my severe anxiety/depression but nothing seemed to help, my mind just couldn't focus on anything and the meds did absolutely nothing and to top all that off about 7 months ago I lost everything and was left homeless. I lost my job, my house, my partner, and every little thing I owned except the clothes on my back and I found myself in a very big city that I've never been to before and I was literally lost not just psyically but mentally.. I really had no idea where to go, what to do or anything I was completelyand utterly lost... well after about 5 months of trying to survive on the streets I was literally saved by a complete stranger, and I mean a COMPLETE stranger, the only thing I ever asked her was if she could spare a cigarette and she ended up buying me a coffee and sat with me while I drank that coffee as quick as I could and we started talking... I was very reluctant to tell her anything as I didn't know her at all but I ended up telling her what happened and we talked for about an hour or so after that, then while it was getting late I could see that she needed to catch the train home so I thanked her for the coffee and the smoke and said I hope I get the opertunity to pay her back one day and she said to me that I can stay at her place for the night if I would like to, as it was winter and it was getting wet and really cold... I thanked her deeply and declined her offer but she wasn't taking that so she told me that I'm "COMING" to stay at her place that night... I had no choice in the matter haha and that was about 5 months ago and I'm still staying with her hehe.... now while I was warm and had a roof over my head my mind was going crazy,, soo many things to work out and not knowing the area at all I was freaking out...... So one day I went out to the back yard and started pulling out some weeds that were growing in her little rock garden and I noticed a few small sandstone pieces that were quite weathered so I picked them up and started playing around with them but this one very small piece stood out to me, it was like I could see a tiny little frog in it, it was weird I thought I was going crazy but I found myself finding whatever I could use to bring this frog out of the stone and the only thing I could find was one of those little screwdrivers (you know the kind you use to fix your glasses? So I made myself a nice cold drink and went outside and started helping this frog I could see in this sandstone. I ended up scraping and starring and scraping some more at this tiny rock for about 7 hrs and finally I had a frog (I called her midge aswell haha) but it was right at that very point I noticed that my head was clear! There was nothing at all, just silence, and a overwhelming sense that I finally found something that takes my mind out of my head and I actually starting to cry a little bit, not that I was sad at what I've lost or how bad my situation was, I was crying because I was happy... Since that scary moment that I thought i completely lost my mind I went through the whole rock garden and found some more bits of stone to play with before I could source somewhere to get some other types of stone to see what I could do and it wasn't long at all before I found a place that I could get some soapstone. I still don't know exactly what would be considered good quality soapstone as there has been quite a fair amount that has a lot of holes in it as if there was something there but has since eroded but i am happy with what I managed to get because I no longer feel as anxious or depressed and I look forward to waking up every morning to see what else I can do/make... there is still quite a lot I need to learn and get to be able to do bigger and/or more intricate sculptures but the basics I've got so far like a close quarter saw, hacksaws, files, builders pencils, rulers, and even a rotary tool with some good accessories is a great start.... so that's my story, sculpting has pretty much saved my life (along with my new awesome friend that took a chance on me and took me in to her home, and I'll be forever in her debt) and I'm glad I stumbled upon this amazing art of sculpting...... Sorry it's a long story but we all gotta start somewhere haha...... thanks for reading and I'll try and upload pics in chronological order

Click here to read or post comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Include your sculpture to the stone carving gallery.

Wooden Mallet

I recommend using a wooden mallet for carving Oamaru stone.

Chisel Set

Woodworking chisels are perfectly fine for carving with Oamaru stone. 

Masonary Sealer 

This is the best sealer that I could find on Amazon that I would consider to be suitible for Oamaru Stone 

Course Sandpaper

Ryobi Engraver

Fine Sandpaper


Scissor Lift Trolly

Mobile Tool Box

Shaugns Recommended Stone Carving Tools

Although the tools below are sold through Amazon. They are the same as the stone carving tools that I personally recommend to my students for carving with Oamaru stone.

Poratable Workbench

These benches are height adjustable which makes them perfect for stone carving. I own the Ryobi workbench and love it, but unfortunatlly it is only sold through Amazon's UK store for people that are wanting to buy it online.

Stanley: Surform Shaver

This is a must-have tool for shaping large areas of Oamaru stone

Riffler Files

These are smaller files that are designed for the parts of your sculpture that are difficult to get at. They are also an essential set of tools

Builders Pencils

Crosscut Hand Saw

This type of crosscut  hand saw is my recommendation for cutting Oamaru stone

Keyhole Handsaw

A very handy saw. Mosty used for sawing after a hole after it has been drilled into the stone.