Definition of Art

How to Use a Chisel Sculpture Tool

How to Use a Chisel Sculpture Tool


There are a variety of sculpture tools for carving stone. The most important to stone carving are the chisels and the mallet. In this article, you will learn what chisels to purchase, and the basic methods for using them.


Things You’ll Need

  • Chisels
  • Face Mask
  • Goggles
  • Mallet
  • Material to Carve
  • Vice


How to Use a Chisel Sculpture Tool

How to Use a Chisel Sculpture Tool

1. If you are just starting to learn how to carve, it is best to get a soft material to practice with. Soapstone and alabaster are the softest stones. Or, mix plaster and pour it into a cardboard milk carton. Once it hardens, peel away the cardboard for a low-budget material to carve from. When carving, secure your material in a vice.


2. While there are many types of chisels available, not all are required for a basic sculpture. The fundamental kinds of etches are level, round, gouge, or etches with teeth..


3. A flat chisel is the best chisel to start with. It can be used to remove large sections of material.


4. A second type of chisel is a rounded chisel. These come to a point like a stake and can be used for detailing or making holes in the material.


5. A gouge etch can be utilized to cut out scores in the material.


6. There are chisels with various numbers of teeth, like a fork. These can be used to remove large sections of material, or for texture.


7. Hold the chisel so that the point is touching the material. Hold the chisel in the middle. Tap the finish of the etch with the hammer. Start by tapping gently, then add more pressure depending on how deep you want the cuts to be.


Tips & Warnings

  • The steps above are simply guidelines for using the chisels. As you become more familiar with carving, experiment with different types of chisels and techniques.
  • When carving, always wear goggles. Flecks of material will fly off. A face mask is also recommended, especially when carving stone. The dust is harmful to breathe.
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