Circle of Life

"Circle of Life", was sculpted from a single piece of cobalt stone by Bywell Sango (the base is spring stone). Aside from the technical aspect of this sculpture, it was both luck, and extremely hard work to find such a large, intact, piece of the stunning cobalt stone with its goldish/rusty outer surfaces, and purple/green interior. And if finding it wasn't enough, it then had to be extracted from the quarry, loaded onto a truck, and carried approximately 4 hours away to Bywell's workshop in Harare, Zimbabwe. All without damaging those beautiful surfaces, parts of which Bywell wanted to leave alone as the texture of the finished sculpture. That rusty color along the surface is the area closest to, and exposed to the earth for millions of years, called oxidation. The reason you see the purple and greenish colors beneath that is because that is the original color of the stone that has been protected for all those years from that oxidation which occurred on the outer surfaces. To reach that purple, the artist has to remove the outer surface through chiseling, filing, grinding, and finally sanding with every grit of sand paper, from the roughest to the finest, usually starting with 400, 600, up to 1,200. The sculpture is then washed, heated, and polished with nothing more than floor wax. When it cools down from the heat which allowed the wax to melt into the stone, it is buffed out with towels and cloths to bring the sanded areas to a shine.