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Types of Sculptures

7/19/2012 8:00:13 AM | by Anonymous


A type of visual art, sculpturing traditionally focused on constructing figures, structures or models by carving and modeling materials such as stone, metal, wood and clay. However, with modern technology aiding the sculpturing process, it is now possible for sculptors to construct sculptures out of literally any material with any process. Many ancient sculptures can be related to ancient Greece and it is believed that the western tradition of sculpting have started there. Even today, Greece is known to produce masterpiece sculptures that are use worldwide for various purposes, from decorating to religious applications. Many characters in Greek mythology such as Poseidon were crafted in sculptures and these sculptures are even used today, for decorative or other purposes. Along with modernization, many sculptors started moving away from creating sculptures for religious purpose to treating them as finished art pieces.


Many different materials can be used to create sculptures, with each different material requiring different processes to produce the art work. Some processes that are applied in making sculptures are carving, welding, firing or molding. Once the sculpture has been constructed, it can be decorated with paint or other form of varnishes to give it a presentable look. It is also referred to as plastic art as it gives one the freedom to manipulate any material and construct it into any desired shape.


Stone carving

This form of sculpturing can be dated back to earliest civilizations, with evidences that the earliest forms of images were carved onto rock surfaces. This technique is the process where natural stones are shaped with controlled movement. Petroglyphs are said to be the earliest types of images that had been carved onto rock surfaces, dating back to ancient civilizations. The surface is removed with processes such as pecking, carving and abrading. Architects sometimes like to include stone carvings in the structure of the building. This refers to the structure being directly carved out from the buildings support pillars, instead of separate pieces being added to the building. This gives the building a very unique and artistic look. This form is called hardstone carving and makes use of stones such as jade, rock crystal or carnelian.


Bronze sculpture

Bronze is a popular choice for cast metal sculptures due to its property that its alloys expand slightly just before they set in a mold, thus filling the finest details. Bronze sculptures also have great ductility and strength which makes them an ideal choice for making sculptures that are to places outdoors.


Wood carving

As the name would suggest, this technique involves a wood piece being carved and cut into a desired shape to make a sculpture. The tools used to make the cuts in wood sculpturing are usually handheld and can also be powered. Such sculptures are typically used for decorative purposes indoors. Some wooden furniture may also have such carvings formed out on them, to give them an authentic and artistic look. Some craftsmen offer services such as carving designs desired by their customers.



One of the earliest sculpturing process, with the earliest caste sculpture of a frog dating back to 3200BC, casting is the process whereby a molten liquid of bronze, copper, aluminium or other materials is poured into a mold that can be made out of clay and has a hallow cavity. The liquid is then allowed to solidify and the mold can later be broken to retrieve the solid casting. This form of casting may not only be used with liquids that have to be heated to a molten shape and later allowed to solidify but also with materials that could be set after they have been mixed with other components such as epoxies, concrete or clay. This process is usually desired to make casts that would otherwise be difficult to make.

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