Best Stone Carving & Stone Sculpting Books 2022 [Updated]

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List of Stone Carving Books & Stone Sculpting Books 2022 [Updated]

stone carving is detail-oriented
Stone carving techniques in books can be used to create detailed stone projects like this

Stone carving is a popular trade and pastime that requires a lot of attention to detail and skill. Although this craft has been in existence for centuries, there are many contemporary artists and hobbyists who continue to carve stone into beautiful creations.

Practice makes perfect, but stone carving skills and techniques can also be honed by reading books on the topic. There are many great guidebooks and reference books detailing stone carving projects.

In fact, you may find that you gain a completely new perspective on stone carving from reading a book about the topic. Many books also include step-by-step instructions for certain projects that can be invaluable to the novice stone carver.

The following book list consists of great reads and texts that can prove useful when learning to stone carve or simply seeking new inspiration. The authors of these books are experts in this field, so many of the tips and tricks included in these books are from people who have had a lot of experience.

1) Sculpture in Stone

Sculpture in Stone
  • Hardcover Book
  • Texido, Josepmaria (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

Recommended for: Beginner to Expert

Sculpture in Stone by Josepmaria Texido and Jacinto Santamera is a great read for those who are interested in both the history and technical aspects of stone carving. This book is authored by experts in the fields who are clearly passionate about the topic.

The introduction to the book provides a comprehensive overview of the stone sculpture and how to work with stone. The major takeaway is the full list of tools and equipment that are needed to carryout a stone carving projects. Some of the key tools included are calipers, chisels, compasses, and drills.

The pictures in the book act as a great visual aid for those who would like to seek inspiration and follow along with the projects detailed in the book. Many of these pictures depict finished pieces from different cultures and regions of the world, including Egyptian and Italian sculptures.

The text even describes the different types of stone that can be sculpted and how to properly work with these materials. The types of stone discussed include granite, marble and sandstone. The instructions that accompany the projects are clear and presented in a step-by-step format that make the examples easy to follow and replicate. These instructions and corresponding color pictures show you how to complete a project from beginning to end.

Another remarkable feature of this book is that it features a glossary of stone carving terms that can be very useful for the beginner and even the expert stone carve when quick references are needed.


Pros Cons
  • comprehensive review of stone carving
  • tool list
  • step-by-step instructions
  • color photos of projects and finished pieces
  • cover many different carving techniques
  • glossary of terms
  • The detailed instructions may not be necessary for the expert stone carver

2) Direct Stone Sculpture

Direct Stone Sculpture: A Guide to Technique and Creativity (Schiffer Art Book)
  • Hardcover Book
  • Liebson, Milt (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

Recommended for: Beginner to Expert

Direct Stone Sculpture by Milt Liebson is a very practical book for artists who would like to learn how to complete hand sculpting projects. This book is fantastic for beginners, but experts will find that invaluable information regarding the use of power tools when sculpting and details of the business aspect of stone sculpting.

The author provides step-by-step instructions on how to hand sculpt projects using various techniques. The techniques are not simply listed, but discussed in detail. In fact, the applications for these techniques are also addressed, which can be very helpful to those who would like to better understand the context in which they are used.

The instructions and sculpture examples are depicted through helpful photographs that show the entire process up until the finished product. The finished product is definitely the goal of stone carving, but the text does a great job teaching readers how to properly finished a stone carving projects by implementing the techniques discussed.

Overall, this is a great reference stone carving book for beginner to expert stone carvers who would like to learn more about the craft or even start a professional stone carving business of their own.

Pros Cons
  • knowledgeable author
  • step-by-step instructions
  • useful photographs
  • describes applications of different techniques
  • explores the business aspect of stone carving
  • the techniques that the author does not use are not discussed in the text




3) The Art of Letter Carving in Stone

The Art of Letter Carving in Stone
  • Crowood Press UK
  • Hardcover Book
  • Perkins, Tom (Author)

Recommended for: Beginner to Expert

The Art of Letter Carving in Stone by Tom Perkins is a much more niche stone carving book, but it can prove to be very useful for people who are interested in dong stone lettering. This book was written by an experienced author who is very experienced in the craft and has a lot of valuable insight to share with readers.

This book is a great guide for beginners to learn how to carve letters and simple designs into stone. The information that experts can glean from this book is a useful approach to design variations of letters using a proportioning system for Roman letters. The history of 20th-century lettering is also discussed in the book, which provides a good historical context for the craft.

Some of the practical information in the book includes what tools and equipment is needed to do lettering, how to make your own easel, and how to first draw alphabets. The skills discussed involve how to do inscriptions and gilding on different stone objects. Other helpful skills are also covered in detail, which makes this a very comprehensive book on the topic.


Pros Cons
  • experienced author
  • great for letter carvers
  • great for beginners and experts
  • covers wide range of skills and techniques
  • teaches you how to draw letters and do inscriptions
  • very specific niche of letter carving


4) Contemporary Stone Sculpture

Contemporary Stone Sculpture: Aesthetics Methods Appreciation
10 Reviews
Contemporary Stone Sculpture: Aesthetics Methods Appreciation
  • Used Book in Good Condition
  • Meilach, Dona Z. (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

Recommended for: Beginner to Expert

Contemporary Stone Sculpture by Dona Z. Meilach explores contemporary stone sculptures and pieces as well as how to create them. The author describes how contemporary stone sculpture has evolved into what it is in recent years.

A review of the top sculptors of the past few decades provides great context into the world of contemporary stone carving. Some of these artists include Jean Arp, Constantin Brancusi, and Henry Moore. Pictures of their work illustrate the attention to detail that each sculpture received and truly reflects the skill level required to reach the finished effect.

Although this book does cover a lot of the stone carving culture, it is inherently a guidebook with step-by-step instructions that teach you how to create beautiful sculptures as well. These instructions are very well detailed and even describe how to use power tools to carve stone. The content in the book incredibly helpful and will show you methods of how to create a good finished product.

Pros Cons
  • experienced author
  • great review of contemporary stone sculpture and artists
  • teaches you how to use power tools for stone carving
  • describes different finishing methods
  • step-by-step instructions for each project
  • the book is dated



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