Stone fashioned by man can be found in the Pyramids of Giza, the Louvre, Stonehenge, and the White House.
Stone art is basically as old as art itself. The timeless craft of stone etching has been around for millennia.
The grandeur and majesty etched stone can convey is unmatched.
Artisans have been chipping away at stone as long as there have been tools for chipping. Trying to breathe life into granite, marble, and onyx is an enduring charge and challenge of the genuine artist.
When done right, there is nothing more awe-inspiring or riveting than a stone sculpture. It is truly through art that man rebirths himself, and so stone etching continues as man continues.
How does one approach creating an etched stone statue or figure?
The steps themselves sound basic, but assiduousness is the name of the game.
The initial step is always figuring out what the subject of the etching is going to be.
Is it going to be a tiger? A young female? A mountain range?
Once you figure out what you want and collect or draft it, you are ready to move on.
The important thing is to get the image onto something like contact paper. It will be this adhesive paper that will serve as the skeleton of the etching.
The easiest approach would be to just print out the image on such paper, but special printers are usually needed for this. The other option is to line up the image and the contact paper and take an exact-o knife ad trace contours of the graphic.
This will give you a contact paper outline to be used for etching.
Place the image outline on the stone face down. Make sure the image is the reverse of the way you want it to come out because you are flipping it over before engraving.
There is nothing worse than perfectly executing the process – backwards. Now pour an etching agent, such as hydrochloric acid, onto the stone. It will dissolve the surface of the stone where the contact paper is not stopping it.
This leaves the work of the intricate details to the resistance of the contact paper to the acid. This is also why it is essential to use an extra thick contact paper for this purpose. For, if it disperses, so will the structure of your image with it.
The longer the etching agent is on the stone the deeper it will etch.
So, keep a vigilant eye on its progress and remember that even after you clean it off, it continues to etch for a little while longer as some residual acid inevitably remains.
The last step is washing the stone clean of all paper and acids and drying it.
Let it is set for a few hours and the piece is ready to be shown to the world.