Patrick sources sculpting stones from various provinces in Zimbabwe where the quarries are located, although most of his material comes from the Great Dyke Belt in Zimbabwe.
Zimbabwean artists including Patrick uses different types of stones which are native to their home country. These stones belong to the geological family Serpentine which is said to be over 2billion years. He prefers to use this type of rock because of its hardness, natural colour, texture and unique forms.
Quote; ‘‘Zimbabwe is a Shona word that means the great house of stone’’.
‘’Zimbabwean art is also well known as Shona art’’
Choosing a Subject/ Inspiration
Zimbabwean sculptors are much inspired by what they hear, see or dream in their everyday life. Sometimes what they have experienced in the past.
Patrick say his work reflects what is happening in society and the role of each member in the culture. In Zimbabwe, each artist has their own unique style. Patrick focuses mostly in human figure – especially men, women and children and activities they contribute with to educate, teach or warn the society. The rock – and the inspiration that Patrick receives from the rock – will determine his decision of what the sculpture will eventually become. Sometimes, the rock presents its own vision to him.
“My inspiration comes from the shape of the stone.”
Patrick works entirely with hand tools. His tool set consists of a stone hammer, a chasing hammer (with teeth), chisels, rasps, files and point punches. His choice of tool depends on which type of texture he wants to achieve on the sculpture.
Creating the Sculpture
1. Select the stone with respect for its natural elements.
2. Patrick begins communicating with the stone and gathers his tools
3. He starts cutting the stone using a hammer and a point punch to begin shaping the piece.
4. The shape begins to make itself known to Patrick and he follows its lead.
5. Then comes chisel work for detailing and evening out some of the surfaces.
6. Rasps and files are used to highlight the specific areas and details Patrick wants to bring out in the piece.
7. He uses different grades of wet and dry sandpaper to polish the piece, smoothening the surfaces and bringing out the beautiful colours of stone.
8. Patrick the opens the pores of the stone by heating it with a propane torch then carefully apply natural wax by using a paint brush on certain areas so that it will soak into the pores of the sculpture.
9. The sculpture is then left to cool down to allow the wax to dry. This keeps or hold the natural colour of the sculpture.
10. Nearly finished now, Patrick lovingly buffs the sculpture with a soft mutton cloth to bring out the high gloss on the piece.
11. The sculpture is finished, and both Patrick and the sculpture are satisfied and pleased.
12. The sculpture is ready for sale and be delivered to a new home.
“I’m often asked if I sketch or do drawings in advance of starting a piece. No, I do not. I prefer to communicate directly with the stone respecting its natural elements. Together we create the sculpture. I believe that’s what makes my work so unique and powerful.”
‘’If I draw, I feel like I’m forcing something to come out of stone”, ‘’I and stone we speak the same language”
“When I sell my sculpture, I feel very happy, but I feel missing it more once its gone. Its like having a baby, you understand much better all the stages you go through with it in life”