Carving Brittle Black Stone Sculpture

A Ruin of One’s Own…

The 28-pound black Canadian stone (5 x 8 x 12) with one corner knocked off, drew my eye to its missing space.

I began by chipping further into the broken corner — it resembled the unstable edge of a slowly collapsing stone wall, like ruins I’ve seen of Anasazi houses in the Colorado Plateau.

Anasazi stone ruin with guardian pictograph
Anasazi black soapstone sculpture by Peter Neibert

Carving found broken rocks, collapsing walls of houses, doorways and windows, burned out floor joists and roof beams.

Black soapstone sculpture with graduated polishing
Black stone sculpture – right side view Anasazi ruin, by Peter Neibert

Sculpture of Anasazi stone work ruin, above, shows high quality masonry in three styles (reflecting three periods of construction with different builders). guardian pictograph, lookout window, burned out beams of upper floor, roof and T-shaped doorway on the second floor, and alcove collapse – at far right is direct hit from large slab which knocked down side wall to the right.

Straight-on view: alcove ceiling slab strikes & devastates stone wall
Black rock strikes stone wall, sculpture, Peter Neibert

Above: Straight-on view of large slab and wall damaged or destroyed by its fall from alcove over head arch.

Below: diagonal slabs inside corner strike glancing blows to skew main wall.  Look into corner to see that walls are butted at right angles but masonry is not interconnected.  Several theories reflected here: (1) walls  built at different times and (2) independent masonry walls better able to withstand falling rocks, earthquakes, (3) both.

walls are butted at right angles but masonry is not interconnected.  Several theories reflected here: (1) walls  built at different times and (2) independent masonry walls better able to withstand falling rocks, earthquakes
falling rocks glancing hits skew masonry wall ~ walls are butted at right angles but masonry is not interconnected.

 

Close-up of sculptured guardian figure

 

 

 

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