We continue to build up the sides. Unfortunately, as we continued to square off the sides using both fabricated blocks and loose samples of distinctive gemstones from Fr Stephen's magnificent collection, it began to rain, and continued to rain steadily throughout the day. I and my brother Timothy became soaked and caked with mortar from head to toe, and thus I was forced to suspend the photographic sequence.
I got the granite for the bases on April 4, and for the next 6 weeks my apartment was saturated with granite chips and dust. It was beautiful. The work had to be done very slowly and patiently, as the letterforms had fine strokes and flourishes, and if you made a mistake, you couldn't put any stone back. Most of the work was done with the finest chisel, the 4 mm flat, but regardless of how slow and patient I was, granite is very hard, and the chisel became bent and dull. It had been working so well that I wanted to get another one, but a delegation of South African sculptors had recently cleaned out Peter's supplies. Peter sold me for $25 the chisel head used in the pneumatic machines, and that worked like a charm for half an hour, then, because it was designed to work in a machine that holds it at an absolutely straight and consistent angle that cannot be replicated by hand, the head broke off. Peter refunded me the money, and I had to straighten the 4mm flat as best I could and continue, but not as efficaciously. (A sharpening-stone drill attachment would not work well enough on my chisels.) One can see in the finished work a clear difference in the cleanness of strokes between the first letters I made, when the tools were sharpest, and the last.