Sculpture Community -  

Go Back  Sculpture Community - > Sculpture Roundtable Discussions > Sculpture focus topics
User Name
Home Sculpture Community Photo Gallery ISC Register FAQ Members List Search New posts Mark Forums Read

Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 03-21-2014, 08:54 PM
icreate icreate is offline
Level 8 user
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 184
Stone carver please answer this question

I'm writing a book on 3D Technology in Fine Art and Craft. I'm featuring a section on The Digital Michelangelo project and have a question. Professor Levoy talks about the drill marks in the hairline on this section of the David.

Can someone please explain why these would be there. I know nothing about carving in stone or about the process of Michelangelo.

Thanks in advance.
Bridgette Mongeon


Digital Sculpting You can also find a lot of information about this on my creativesculpture blog

"A man is what he thinks about all day long"
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Reply With Quote
Old 03-22-2014, 11:17 AM
Mack Mack is offline
Level 10 user
Join Date: May 2008
Location: VA
Posts: 604
Re: Stone carver please answer this question

My guess is that they are indicators from the "pointing up" process using a smaller original model (maquette) of 'David' (Guy was a hell of a sculptor!!)
Reply With Quote
Old 03-22-2014, 02:27 PM
Andrew Werby Andrew Werby is offline
Level 10 user
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Oakland, CA
Posts: 647
Re: Stone carver please answer this question

They may be from "pointing up", but even if that process wasn't used, the bow drill was an essential tool for Renaissance sculptors. For making things like David's curly hair, the drill was used to get into areas where a chisel wouldn't work. For delicate areas where the impact of the chisel might break off a delicate appendage like a finger, the drill was used first to pierce the web, then the remaining support between the fingers was carefully removed with rasps. Here's an article that talks about this in more detail:

Andrew Werby
Reply With Quote
Old 03-25-2014, 03:47 PM
Kilkenny's Avatar
Kilkenny Kilkenny is offline
Level 6 user
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Devon, United Kingdom
Posts: 110
Re: Stone carver please answer this question

This is very puzzling. Andrew is right about the use of the drill - in common use at the time. However, the drill marks around or defining hair curls here are odd, and look a little like an attempt to define a line... I would add that the drill was also used at the time to establish the depth of the carving process. One of the problems the sculptor has is retaining an image as he/she carves away at the block. Sculptors have traditionally used the drill to retain the image by drilling at certain points to the level below which they image was then to be carved. In effect, doing the best they could to hold onto a pre-established shape.

It may also be worth adding that the block Michelangelo used to carve the David had already been carved previously, so some of the aspects of the sculpture may not be original to Michelangelo.
From the carver actually known as Sam Bell
Reply With Quote

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

Sculpture Community,
International Sculpture Center,
vBulletin, Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Russ RuBert