Choosing a stone is my first step. I’m lucky to live in Tengenenge a place rich for different kinds of sculpting stones. Usually I look around a quarry until a particular stone speaks to me. The sculptor should let the stone lead him. If I try to force the stone to be something it was not meant to be something goes wrong. Usually it cracks during the sculpting process. Mostly I use opal stone – a beautiful light greenish serpentine to make bigger sculptures or serpentine – its colors vary from black to brown to green in Tengenenge. Smaller sculptures I can make from springstone – a very hard dark serpentine stone which can be polished to a high shine because of its density.
When sculpting stone I need to remove material that doesn’t belong. I start using a hammer and chisels. It is important to hold chisel at right angle to the surface of the stone to continue quickly and not crack the stone. When I’m satisfied with the raw shape of my sculpture I continue with rasps. Rasps won’t remove material as quickly as a hammer and chisel but it make the surface smoother.
The following steps is sanding, although, sometimes I prefer to leave a rough texture on some portions of the sculpture. It is long time process to achieve a good smooth surface by wet- sanding. Step by step I use sandpapers of the finer grit to achieve the best result.
The final step is polishing the areas to be highlighted by a white or transparent wood wax. Wax brings out the color and shine of the stone. I warm the sculpture directly by the open fire before waxing it.
When I finish a new piece of sculpture I post photos on my website and social media profiles to present it to potential buyers. I will arrange a careful packing in a crate, transportation from Tengenenge to Harare as well as I can make all shipping arrangements to deliver the sculpture to any place around the world.