Frank Bitonti ~ Sculptor ~ Quality and Affordable Sculptures
Frank was born in Italy in 1955. He arrived in Canada in 1956 via Pier 21 in Halifax,
his family traveled from Halifax to Calgary by train and has called Calgary home ever since.
Frank differentiates himself by carving with harder rock. He prefers to carve with Carrara Marble from Italy,
Honeycomb Calcite from Utah, Serpentine Steatite from BC, Anhydrite from BC and African Serpentine.
In 2006 he began sculpting as a hobby after admiring an Invermere BC Artists Bear sculpture. He
was fascinated with the way it was carved and how powerful this rock looked in his hands. He located the Artist,
who opened up the door to a whole new experience for him. The Artist generously gave him a few pieces of
rock to experiment with. Well, at that point he was hooked. The first rock he sculpted was a simple piece that
looked like a hand on one side and a foot on the other, so he call it "Hand in Foot". Once he got the hang of the
power tools (Chisels, angle and die grinders, files, sanders, polishing wheels) the pieces he worked on became
“It is truly uplifting when you can transform a raw piece of rock into an object of beauty”.
After a few years working with Anhydrite rock he attended a 5-day workshop that was put on by Chaka Chikodzi
at the Saskatoon Berry Farm outside of Calgary. The rock he chose to work with was African lemon opal from
Zimbabwe. No power tools were used on this sculpture just chisels and rasps. His first soft stone carving was
a Turtle, weighing 90 lbs with the dimensions of 24 x 18 x 8 inches. Working with the softer stone allowed him to
put more detail in his sculptures. For him the best part of rock sculpting is when you sand your treasure and see
the colours come to life when you polish them. Every rock he works on is a little different and always special in
“I would recommend this hobby to anyone, it's a great escape it's easy to learn and truly rewarding”.
Frank is always out exploring for new rocks to sculpt with, and prides himself on continually looking to improve
his sculptures and finding new uses for the rocks he works with.
Here are just a few tools that I use to carve the stone and create my sculptures. Most of my tools were purchased as I needed them to make the sculpting process easier and to improve the finished product. I would recommend taking a sculpting class before you invest a lot of money in tools. Some rocks are harder than others so diamond embedded tools are a must .
The finer details are executed using hand tools.
After removing the majority of the rock that's not required with the power tools then I use rasps, chisels, files and sandpaper to complete the work.