Carving a Stone Chain
How craftsmen painstakingly sculpt a black-granite masterpiece in 35 days with a hammer and chisel
Master silpis, or stone carvers, show off their artistry by creating three-foot chains out of one piece of black granite. The process takes around 35 man-days, working 10 hours each day and requires years of training. It's a work so demanding that few such chains have been made in the past hundred years. But in Bangalore, India, a team has been trained to revive the art. Twelve chains will hang from the ceiling of San Marga Iraivan Temple (www.saivasiddhanta.com/hawaii/iraivan/) under construction at the Hawaii ashram of Hinduism Today's founder, Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami.
Stage 1, Quarrying: After three man-days of quarrying, the granite arrives at the worksite.
Stage 2, Roughing: The rough stone is made square and smooth so the master architect can draw the outlines of the chain. Five man-days.
Stage 3, Chain Outline: The chain begins to take shape, yet is still one solid stone. Ten man-days.
Stage 4-5, Separation: The chain is carefully broken, with the master architect's supervision, into free rings. Eleven man-days.
Stage 6, Polishing: With five different types of carborundum stones, the carvers spend six man-days polishing and evening out the rings.
Stage 7, Final Product: The finished chain is then inserted and locked into the fancy ceiling stones and adjusted for proper fitting.
(see print version for incredible photos)
The comments are owned by the author. We aren't responsible for their content.