How detail and intricate are intended for the finished sculpture. In general,
the softer the stones, the more detailed carvings can be achieved. For example,
it is very difficult to carve a statue requiring detailed facial expression in
granite. On the other hand, soft stones are much easier to work with than hard
rocks, great for carving by novice sculptors. The soft varieties of stones include soapstone and alabaster.
For those learning DIY carvings, you may want to check your local college or university to see whether they offer sculpting classes. The professor may be able to recommend materials that will suit your project and where you can purchase them locally. Having stone
raw blocks being shipped to you from a remote source can be expensive.
Be aware of your budget for stone. Price differences between different types of
stones can be significant. Some stones with similar colors and textures but
quarried in different countries may have completely different costs. It is quite
possible to find a cost-effective stone that well meets project requirements.
You may have to look hard sometimes to avoid unnecessary expenses.
Before deciding the stone for carving the project, you may want to first determine color
range and finish option. Selecting a color is of no tricks. But choosing a
finish might take some considerations. In general, there are three finish
options for stone sculptures: polished, honed and antiqued. The polished finish
has glassy or shining surface while the honed tends to be matte and the antiqued
finish, done through acid washing, is the roughest among all. You need to keep
in mind that not every stone can have good polishing effects and acid washing
can only be effectively applied to certain rocks.
In selecting a stone type for carving, you also need to decide whether the
sculpture is to be placed indoor or outdoors. Certain types of stone have much
stronger resistances against weathering than others. For example, comparing to
marble, travertine and limestone, granite and sandstone are better choices for
sculpting outdoor garden statues.