Five Types of Stones Used To Make Statues

Posted on: 3 October 2019

Natural rock was the only available material for artisans during ancient times. Nowadays, sculptors have access to different materials, such as artificial stones and plastics. The wide array of materials helps to improve creativity, and thus come up with more impressive carvings. Of all the materials, rocks are the most durable. They can withstand different types of weather, resist shattering, and do not have crystalline structures.

Here are the main types of stones that sculptors use:

1.    Limestone

Sculptors have been using limestone for more than 5000 years. A suitable proof for its prolonged usage is the Guennol Lioness, which has been existence for the last 5000 years. Limestone is softer than marble, and this makes it an ideal alternative when the sculptors need to create elegant carves on the statues. Lastly, the stone can withstand sharp blows without getting fractures.

2.    Granite

Granite is a massive stone with a variegated structure. Unlike sandstone and limestone, which are soft and comfortable to curve, granite is difficult to use. Sculptors use it whenever they need to make the most durable statues for funeral, religious, or political purposes. Granite comes in many colours, such as grey, red, green, and black. Its wide range of colours makes the heavy stone suitable for gravestone and funeral carvings.

3.    Sandstone

Sandstone is a sedimentary rock that comfortably carves into different shapes. Stonemasons and carvers have been using it for a long time due to its beautiful appearance. Although it is less durable as compared to the other types of stones, sandstone requires fewer efforts to carve, and it produces attractive results.

4.    Basalt

Basalt is an igneous rock, similarly to granite. The only visible difference between it and granite is that it is uniformly dark and does not have visible crystals. Artisans polish this dark and heavy stone to create pharaohs, gods, goddesses. 

5.    Alabaster

Alabaster is not a single type of rock. The name refers to numerous minerals that share a characteristic pale colour, luminous transparency, and softness. The main components of alabaster are calcite and gypsum, which are soft enough to curve into various decorative carvings. Their softness nature is prone to fractures and damage, and therefore artists do not use alabaster for the larger pieces. They are ideal for smaller pieces such as translucent inlays and cosmetic jars.

Stone carvings help to create good memories during essential occasions such as funerals. They also help to develop tomb-like monuments that act as a reminder of humankind's mortality. When you need a stone statue, research on the available stones since each has different features. Understanding the features will help you select the best for your specific function.