Granite Fountains

Written by Patty Yu
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Durability and finish make granite a highly coveted material for sculpting, whether to make granite fountains, portrait sculptures, or even bookends. Granite is the hardest stone to work with, compared to much softer stones like limestone or bluestone. Marble is also considered a hard stone to work with, but is still softer than granite, and allows for very fine details and a beautiful polished finish.

When creating granite fountains or other sculptures, artists must use heavy tools with slightly duller edges, such as a steel chisel with carbide tip. The duller edge allows the artist to crack and chip the granite to remove chunks at a time. Even with the best tools, sculpting granite fountains can wear on the artist's hands and fingers. Diamond blade saws are often used to cut granite effectively.

Comparing Bronze Fountains to Granite Fountains

Bronze and granite fountains are both sturdy, durable, and heavy pieces of art. However, the processes used by artists to create these fountains are extremely different. Sculpting is often associated with chiseling and carving stone, which is how granite sculptures are made. Unwanted pieces are cut away until the subject takes shape. The artist then polishes the piece to a high gloss.

Bronze sculptures are not chiseled or carved. Instead, the subject is first sculpted out of clay. The resulting model is used to create a rubber mold, which is then used to create a second model out of wax. A ceramic shell mold is then made out of the second model. Molten bronze is poured into the ceramic mold and cools. As the bronze alloy cools inside its mold, it expands just slightly to fill all the details of the mold. Finally, the artist polishes the piece and applies a patina.

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