Stone

DEFINITION

Rock that has been suitably cut for carving. Stone is a traditional material for sculptors since prehistoric times and up to the advent of bronze casting. Sandstone, marble, granite and limestone are the most commonly used stone for sculptors, but in modern commercial definition, marble is in a separate category. Of working with stone, sculptor Isamu Noguchi said in 1968: "Stone is directly linked to the core of matter. It is a molecular conglomeration, so to speak. If you strike a stone it echoes back with the spirit of existence within us. It is an echo of the whole universe . . . It had a life before the existence of human beings . . . Stone is always old and new, and like a living being it exists with links to the past, the present,, and the future. . . Stones are the bones of the earth." (Duus 317) For most sculptors, stone is extracted from quarries such as Carrara in Italy or Aji in Japan. The work, which often involves slicing into mountainsides, is extremely dangerous, and a single mistake with loose boulders or flying chips can kill and injure workers. Among American sculptors other than Noguchi who are noted for working in stone are Jenny Holzer, who carves text political and social messages into site-specific stone formations, and Oreland Joe who carves Indian figures reflective of his Navajo-Ute heritage and who works primarily in alabaster, marble and limestone. Arguably the most famous stone carver in western art history is Gutzon Borglum, who carved the Presidential portraits into the side and top of Mount Rushmore in South Dakota. Sources: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"; Masayo Duus, "The Life of Isamu Noguchi"; AskART database.<br><br>1. Cut rock, suitable for carving and building. One of the traditional materials of the sculptor, it has been carved, drilled, and polished since prehistoric times. The most widely available stones for sculpture are alabaster, granite, marble, sandstone and limestone. 2. In the commercial world, any stone except marble.<br><br>Concreted earthy or mineral matter; rock. Examples are marble, granite, limestone, alabaster, sandstone, schist, and soapstone. In the printmaking process of lithography, a piece of limestone is traditionally used as the printing surface. Also, a unit of weight measurement in Britain is a stone: equal to 14 pounds (6.4 kilograms).Also see carving, chisel, gem, glyptics, igneous rock, living rock, metamorphic rock, mortar, mosaic, sculpture, sedimentary rock, statue, stipple, and suiseki.

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