Onyx, Marble, & Travertine

I work with onyx, marble, and travertine stone.  These stones come in boulders that range in weight from a couple of pounds to a few tons.  Once the boulder is split into more workable sizes the basic steps I use to create my pieces are planning, roughing, defining, and finishing.  I use diamond blades, carbide bits, hammers, chisels, rasps, sander, and polisher.

Planning

It's a piece of rock until I start to shape it.  After I find a boulder that 'speaks' to me, I study it to get a feel for its inner strength and beauty.  I specifically search for boulders that have distinctive shapes or color patterns that will eventually evoke the one-of-a-kind piece I will create.

Roughing & Defining

Once I have connected with the stone, I start to chisel/rough out the shape that was expressed through the stone.   I use a series of different types of chisels to refine the shape and an assortment of files to smooth out the chisel marks and carve out the fine details.

Finishing

The finishing process involves several steps.  First is sanding; beginning with a coarse grade of sandpaper and proceeding to significantly finer grades until the texture reaches the smoothness I desire. Next I seal the surface to melt the surface crystals together. The last step is hand polishing.  For items that may be used with food, I apply a food safe coating.