Sculpture Materials

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Marble

  • A classical material
  • Connotes nobility, purity and status
  • Subtractive process (craving straight into the block of stone)
  • Low tensile strength- means protrouding parts are easily broken
  • When highly polished approximates flesh- translucency
  • Allows for undercutting
  • Tools used:
    • Mallet (hammer with a broad head)
    • Chisel 
    • Chisel is placed against the marble and hut with the blunt end of the hammer
    • For large pieces, may ned a flat 'pitching tool'
    • Claw chisels could be used to add texture
    • Sandpaper used to polish
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Bronze

  • Also a traditional material
  • Additive process of building up a form from a soft substance (e.g. wax, clay, plaster) before casting
  • Timeless- we use the same process today as the Greeks did 5th c. BC
  • Typically masculine
  • Could show truth to materials
  • Patina used to protect from weathering
  • High tensile strength- can bear lots of protrouding parts or being top heavy
  • Plaster could be built up on an armature- also known as applied plaster
  • Lost wax process
    • Negative plaster mould made from the original wax
    • Often made in pieces
    • Hot wax poured to form a layer inside the plaster moulds
    • Foundary sand (sand and plaster) will be poured in to the copy to create a solid core
    • Heated in a kiln and the wax melts and flows out through a funnel
    • Molten bronze is then poured in instead
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Wood

  • Subractive process
  • Texture and colour can be made to be like lifelike skin
  • Matt finish or a gloss
  • Can involve mixed media e.g. glass and ivory
  • Can be made to be crude/ primative by showing visible carving marks
  • Can be painted
  • Wood has natural roughness, splintering, jagged qualities
  • Fibrous quality means it can be carved quite thinny and precisely
  • Hard woods are more durable but soft woods are easier to sculpt
  • Not very durable or weather-proof
  • Is strongest when carved against the grain
  • Can be stained with walnut or linseed oil, and then coated in varnish, resin or wax
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Stone

  • Primative rock engravings
  • Hardstone carving for semi-precious stones e.g. jade, onyx
  • Alabaster is soft, durable and used for smaller works, has translucent qualities
  • Grantine is exrtremely durable but very difficult to carve
  • Basalt is even harder, very rarely carved byt does take a beautiful black apperance when polished
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