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Sculpture as an art-form is extraordinary, moving, special and a wonderful hands on experience for all who try it. Sculpture has been created by human beings for thousands of year and is still being created today. A work of sculpture can be created with any number of tools and materials. Sculpture is a great way to create works of art and every student can become a [sculptor]

Unlike with painting that is flat, sculpture interacts with the view directly because the artwork and the audience share the same space. It allows students and artist to create a work of art that exists in reality as it exists in real space.

I think the article should start off as a history of sculpture and then go into technique.


Our sister site, Wikipedia, offers an abundance of information about the history of sculpture. Click Here to see that information. You may also want to check out the many Subcategories on Wikipedia - where you can find information on anything from glassblowing to sculpture gardens to wax figures.


Every piece of sculpture, and every object manufactured, depends upon its material and process for it's appearance and aesthetic. Sculptors often have a love / hate relationship with their material, but (without too much romance slipping into this) if you are interested in sculpture, the important notion to bear in mind is this- The material is a fundamental part of the development of the idea, the process (or tools if you like) is in there with its contribution, and the artists ideas have to be negotiated through the process of making, not developed and set first then 'illustrated in the material'. Good Examples- Mayan sculpture and Easter Island heads - made with hard stone, and no metal tools, have a powerful, compact, broad aesthetic, made by banging one stone with a harder one - in all the right places of course. They have as much spirit and quality as -at the opposite extreme- Giovanni Bernini's 'Ecstacy of Saint Teresa' the theatrical Baroque masterwork, because it's made of marble (subtle, easy to cut with superbly forged steel tools, takes a high polish, etc.) and is able to imitate flesh or drapery and to appear almost weightless. Different stuff, different cultures, different stories, however, same human spirit and thus same efforts to understand.

The next important consideration is GRAVITY. We are hard wired to understand a world where gravity is always in place, and we understand objects in relation to it, we also read two dimensional images in relation to our gravity field existence.



Carving Techniques

Found Object[edit]

~Take found object and display - Is this sculpture or displacement?

Mixed Media[edit]

Mould Making


Latex Mould Making is the simplest and cheapest way to make an effective flexible and reusable mould. Once the sculpture as been created, successive layers of latex liquid are painted on and allowed to dry between each coat. The resulting mould is incredibly strong, and can easily be stretched off the casing. However, latex does shrink and for this reason it cannot be used to make a two part mould and the joins rarely go together well. Where accuracy in shape and size are required, a silicone mould, though more expensive is a better choice; whilst latex is particularly good where cost is an issue and where total fidelity to the original object is not required. The tough properties make it very good to use as a one piece open mould, as depicted. Undercutting can only be overcome with a "dewlap". An artificial boundary is made with a piece of think plastic to create a double sided interface across undercuts. These remain in place until after the shell is made, which makes close contact with both sides of the dewlap, and thus the shell material does not communicate through the undercut. The plastic is removed after the first de-moulding and discarded.


Silicone offers a superior mould fidelity, capturing details even beyond those visible to the naked eye. It is extremely versatile, available in a range of hardnesses, setup times, colours, elasticities etc.

Whilst cosiderably more expensive than other mould materials, it has nonetheless become the standardbearer for a wide range of applications.

In many cases, even complex or delicate sculptures can be moulded in fewer sections, furthering the accuracy of subsequent castings, which can often be easily made entirely free from seam lines (the imperfections caused by two parts of a mold not lining up perfectly.)

Most mould silicones come in a two part form. When the correct proportion of each are mixed together, the process of catalysis (the 'setting up' or hardening) begins. The user has a specified working time in which to pour or apply the silicone mixture. Once curing time has passed, the sculpture can be demolded.

Depending on the application, different techniques can be used. Simple items can be brush-on molded, whereby incremental layers of silicone are brushed on and left to set until a sufficient thickness is achieved. They can also be placed within a box or othrr 'retainer' into which the silicone is poured and left to do its thing.

More complex items may require the mold to be made in parts, which separate in order to remove the piece. Jacket molds are particularly useful for using less silicone l. A jacket mold is made by first covering the piece in a uniform layer of inexpensive clay. Any deep details are smoothed out to avoid undercuts. A jacket is then made of usually fibreglass or plaster. The jacket is opened and clay remived. The jacket reclosed and the negative space is filled with silicone.


Type of casting.