12 November 2012

Stone Matrix

I found myself in need of making a round rod into a half-round section,
that is, flat on the bottom and round on top. So I thought Id try an ancient solution;

carve a matrix into a stone block. 

The stone is basalt, quite hard. I used a chisel and some files to carve a round groove.
These basalt blocks or 'bluestone pitchers'- a common sight in Melbourne where I live, I believe many of them were hewn by convicts ( and bear the broad arrow mark).

This made me remember a fountain here in Melbourne that was hewn from basalt by a prisoner, William Stanford. He was a horse-thief and highwayman, who discovered a talent for masonry while in the clink. Trust me, basalt is not the sculptor's friend! Good story, good story, but I digress....

I think this matrix technique was very common for the ancient smith, I have seen many examples, but couldn't find a good picture to show you.

(Usually this operation would be achieved by a passing the rod through a mechanical roller or by extruding the rod through a half-round draw-plate, but these methods tend to be very consistent in texture and form. (yawn))

So I put the rod in the groove and hammer it in...

the bottom is now flat, and the top is round, but beautifully stone-textured. ( albeit a little dusty!)
It was nice to work outside in the grass and yarrow for a change.

1 comment: