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CARVING PROCESS

OBTAINING THE STONE

Southern Africa is a very mineral-rich region. The mineral riches include the more commercial minerals such as platinum and chrome, and this natural phenomenon also provides a wonderful range of workable stone that is ideal for the creation of sculptures.

Some stone pieces require 6 to 10 people to lift them onto the back of a truck and most purchasers of the finished sculptures have no idea of the back-breaking work involved right at the beginning of the sculpting process.

 

WORKING THE STONE

Sculptors never draw or design any piece beforehand. They believe that the form is already in the piece of stone and that their task is to chip away the outer layer to reveal the inner beauty. Their 'understanding' process may take a few days, weeks or even months, combining their passion and vision with the qualities and characterists of the stone to produce a superb piece of art.

The majority of sculptors do not use power tools of any kind but rely instead on hammer, chisel, rasp and finally, varying grades of wet and dry sandpaper. After carving the rough shape of their creation, the sculptor then uses a file to work the shape smoother.

 

TRADITIONAL HEATING of STONE SCULPTURES

Once the piece is sanded to their satisfaction, they will then heat up the sculpture with either a wood fire or a propane blowtorch. Once the sculpture is really hot, they then apply a clear wax such as Beeswax or a floor polish. As the stone cools, it absorbs the wax through the surface, seals the stone and gives it a clear waterproof finish that brings out the natural colour of the stone. There is no artificial colouring used whatsoever.

Heating and waxing the sculpture is an essential part of the process. This gives the stone a beautiful shine and which brings out its natural features and colour. Once the stone has cooled, the sculptor uses a soft-cloth to buff it to bring out the shine.

THE BATANAI FINISHING AND POLISHING PROCESS

Over the years BATANAI has developed unique processes to finish and polish artworks. We use exceptional quality products that require minimal care while retaining the quality and colour of the art. Most artwork is refinised with our quality polishes and treatments to further enhance the art.