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  • Steve Hubbard

Archetype sculpture


This is a new sculpture that I’m especially pleased with. It’s the first one that I’ve completed that’s carved from Pyrophilite, which is sometimes known as Wonderstone. I think that this particular variety originates in India. I particularly like the consistency of the colour / patterning through the stone on this piece.

I’ve aimed for echoes of the forms from previous sculptures - such as the narrow scored lines bracketing the holes, as seen in Cerate and Eclipse, and the hollowed out back leading into the aperture through the sculpture - similar to Oracle Stone.


On previous sculptures I’ve tried to get variations on textures / surface finishes by leaving sections rough sanded rather than polished. However, due to the properties of the stone, this tends to result in a mid-grey colour to those sections. So with Archetype (and the recently completed Chalice (more on that soon)), I’ve left certain areas rough sanded, then painted them white. I’m pleased with the way it’s worked out on Archetype - as it gives a good contrast with the saturated rust red of the stone.


I found the stone reasonably easy to work, though it’s clearly harder than most soapstone and serpentine (though the deep red / purple soapstone of Jagganath is close in hardness). I found there was a slight tendency for the fine edges to chip - like the Polyphant on Oracle Stone, so I used files and course wet-and-dry paper to refine the edges, rather than chisels and rasps.

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