Anna Rubincam is a stonemason, lettercutter, sculptor, and stonecarver in London. In A Continuous Shape, a short by filmmakers Jack Webber and Tommaso Di Paola of Eyes & Ears, she carves a portrait in Portland Stone.
It took the filmmakers three weeks to capture her creative process. It starts with measuring the subject and sculpting her likeness in clay, an essential “sketching” step that helps the artist better understand and resolve any compositional challenges before switching to stone. From Rubincam’s site:
The first stage of carving removes off as many large areas of stone as efficiently as possible. By finding the high points of the carving (tip of nose, top of head, bottom of chin), the carving can be reduced quickly to a series of flat plains. Using a mallet and chisels, the large shapes in the carving start to emerge. The idea is to work on the whole piece as much as possible, and not focus too early on the small details.
After those details are added, the final stages of carving help to create dark shadows and “the illusion of weightlessness” where needed. (This illusion can be seen in the carvings of cloth in her portfolio.) A textured or polished finish completes the piece.