With Michaelangelo method, the use of geometry to guide the cuts and chisel blows, I now have reduced the large irregular marble block down to within a few inches of my planned Pieta. This is only the first and easiest step. More of a craft then art really. Michaelangelo had the budget and support to hire apprentice sculptors who would have normally chipped away reducing the stone down to this stage. As a master, Michaelangelo’s time was invested in the unique artistic expression of the original maquette, and then after the blocking was complete, the master would coax the flesh from the stone. His genius was reserved for final touch that would form the muscles and tease out inflections.
For me, I am happy to look back and see how my Pieta designed fits within the blocked marble. I have the inch or two needed for a buffer to adjust for future mistakes, flaws or last minute inspiration. It’s time for the true sculpting to begin.