On Sunday the 6th of November Warwick Shire Mayor Ron Bellingham unveiled what could be the largest sandstone horse heads in the southern Hemisphere. These colossal sculptures carved by Paul Stumkat took 6 months to carve and required help from many community groups to accomplish the installation.
The sandstone which comes from Tamerah Sandstone, just outside of Warwick on the old Allora Rd, was donated by John Rhea and Jill Bockman, with the cutting of the bottom blocks by Luke, their son.
The stone is softer than Helidon sandstone but has a unique grain which gives a much warmer feel to the finished sculptures. Care must be taken when the stone is fresh from the quarry ground as it breaks easily until it dries out.
I used templates to cut similar outlines for the heads. One was made for a side view which was used on both sides and one for the base which would help align drill holes for attachment to the base stones.The pieces were carved in the given dimensions because the saws could only cut 1300 mm deep and it was necessary to align the grain so it was as horizontal as possible. Sandstone weathers better if the finished sculpture is carved in this manner and if not, runs the risk of splitting if attention is not paid to this selection.
The rectangular blocks were marked out with the stencils and then spray painted. The unwanted material was then pared off, firstly using a diamond saw on a large angle grinder to cut the outlines. Then holes were drilled to 300 mm around the outline. This created weak contours in stone which was encouraged to break off using wedges smacked by a sledge hammer and water to act as a lubricant. (See image below) Once an outline was achieved from one direction, it was replicated in the opposite direction.
Pneumatic hammers with a spike bit (Just cheap ones from Super Cheap) were used to finish the surface until the form began to take shape. Then a more delicate chisel such as a scutch chisel was used to smooth off the spike marks. An angle grinder with a stone grinding disc was then used to give a smoother finish, followed with sanding by hand using water and an old belt sander. I have found this is the best way to get a smooth finish on sandstone. Water is the essential ingredient as it lifts up the stone particles and creates a cutting compound.Of course mechanical tools are great to speed up the sculpting process but nothing is as effective as finishing with a mallet and chisels. The best being a tungsten carbide tipped cold chisel. These can be purchased from Tiranti tools or made up yourself with silver solder and oxy torch.
Artst / Sculptor
Po Box 165 Killarney, Qld
I have just made delivery of these museum quality sculptures to the New bullock sculpture for Historical society monument in Killarney.
This RADF funding project is one that I initiated back in 2005.( Southern Downs regional Shire) It is hoped that further funding will be acquired to sculpture a further 4 bullocks and bullocky sculpture for permanent placement in a Killarney Park. Please see attached photos of the stages in the project.
Each sculpture was individually sculpture in clay then moulded using a museum technique I have perfected over 30 years. This technique has been used in many of my museum commissions.
The sculpture are made of fibreglass and are finished with 10 coat of 2 pack polyurethane paint. There are modelled off the original shorter legged Devon bullock which were commonly used in the more mountainous Killarney terrain.
Alain Colfs assisted greatly with stages of moulding and casting. Behind Paul in clay stage photo