Alabaster Sculpture Workshops

Nicholas Durnan
Proceedings of Bridges 2011: Mathematics, Music, Art, Architecture, Culture (2011)
Pages 637–638 Workshop Papers


Working, carving and polishing alabaster is a highly creative and rewarding activity. Children of all ages delight in being able to take a small rough piece of stone and within one to two hours have shaped and polished a magical shape. Spheres, ovoids, tori, even mobius bands can be easily made with just a hand drill, hand saw, rasps, rifflers and four grades of wet and dry abrasive paper. Alabaster is a soft and easily available material which can be shaped quickly thus keeping the students' attention. Patterns and templates in card can be prepared beforehand for marking out onto the alabaster. This workshop will give teachers and artists alike the opportunity to experience the skills required to work with alabaster and discuss the way the artist creates alabaster sculpture using mathematical forms.