Joining a new class is always a little scary especially if you're using a new medium and learning new skills. I'd not done any carving in either wood or stone before, but the idea of carving a bit of alabaster appealed - but then panic sets in - what to carve? Maybe a face? So armed with some family photos for reference, I started with bit of clay, playing around with the idea of making a maquette to work from. But faces are hard! The face didn't work out and gradually, with the help of a bit of plasticine, the idea of a pod emerged instead.
There were all these new tools to get used to: carvers chops to hold the alabaster firmly, rasps to roughly shape it, chisels and gouges for more definition and riflers for the fine detail.