Description of Carving Process
The first step in the creation of this vast panorama of the Southern army on the face of the
mountain is the fashioning of a series of small models about fifteen inches high. There are to be
three of these, in accordance with the division of the panorama into three parts, as I have
described earlier in the article. When the details of the first small model were complete, and
approved, it was enlarged five times into a more perfect detailed model, known as the master
model. Finally, the master model will be enlarged sixteen times, into the final design upon the
mountain. The actual design of the master model will be transferred to Stone Mountain by a
series of mathemathical measurements which will plot the course of every curve. A scale will be
set up before the master model, which is about eleven feet high, or one-third larger than the life
size of man and horse, and every square inch of the model will be accurately plotted with relation
to its distance from the scale; when this design then is transferred to the granite of the mountain
each sixteen-inch area will conform in "topography" to the measurements of the master model.
the creative work of the sculptor will be done largely on the master model. The larger creation
will be mainly a job far carvers, though the sculptor will supervise.
Physical difficulties are, of course, enormous, and in some cases will necessitate departure from
strict adherence to faithful detail; we must take such artistic liscnese as the physical conditions
require. For instance, it is known to artists who have created military statues that the mounted
officer carries his sword or sabre suspended by a strap, it is not fastened to the belt as it is when
he is dismounted. Strict adherence to this known fact would require us to cut a narrow piece of
granite sixteen feet long to represent the strap--so narrow and fragile that it would probably fall
down the side of the mountain of its own unsupported weight.
Therefore, we must fasten the swords to the belts.
In cutting the panorama upon the mountain we shall work from a steel scaffold erected before the
face of the mountain. The work of cutting th first group--Davis, Lee, and Jackson--has begun,
and construction of the scaffolding has started; as soon as the scaffold is completed the work can
progress rapidly, so that these three figures should be finished in about two years.
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