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• Sculpture is a three-dimensional form
constructed to represent a natural or
A sculptor is a person obsessed with the form and
shape of things, and it’s not just the shape of one
thing, but the shape of anything and everything:
the hard, tense strength, although delicate form of
a bone; the strong, solid fleshiness of a beech tree
Types of Sculpture
exists in three-
space. To see all
parts of the
work you need
to walk around
Relief – Sculpture
from a flat
can be seen from
A sculpture that transforms an entire space into a work
of art or wouldn’t exist without the space it occupies.
You need to walk through the piece to experience it.
Free-Standing or Full-Round
• It inhabits three-dimensional space in the
same way that living things do.
• Sculpture in the round cannot be
appreciated from only a single viewpoint but
must be circled and explored.
• A relief sculpture
protrudes out of a flat
surface, and it’s
projection into three-
dimensional space is
• The back of the relief
sculpture is not meant
to be seen; the entire
design can be
understood from a
Bas Relief- (Also referred
to as low relief.)
Characterized by figures
that are only slightly raised
from the surface of the
Sunken Relief: (Also known
as incised or intaglio relief.)
Relief that is created by
having an image carved
down below the surface of
Types of Relief
High Relief: The figures
in the sculpture are
dramatically raised from
the background. They
are sometimes nearly
sculpted in the round.
Installation /Site Specific Art
Sculptural artwork that transforms an entire space into
a work of art, is constructed using materials found on
site or is reliant on it’s location for meaning. The
location is part of the artwork.
Earthworks/Land art: Installations
made from natural materials or using
the earth as part of the artwork.
Usually created outdoors as temporary
pieces, but are sometimes
monumental and semi-permanent.
Methods of Execution
1. Subtractive Process– A process where material is cut or
carved away to create a work of art.
2. Additive Process– Any method where materials are
combined instead of removed to create a work of art.
3. Manipulation/ modeling – shaping or modeling material
with tools or hands.
4. Casting – material that is cast from one state to another
5. Construction/ Fabrication – Elements of the sculpture are
adhered to each other in some way to create the finished
6. Assemblage – Combining found objects to create a
completed work of art.
Carving is the process
of creating a sculpture
by cutting, chipping
away from or
material from a solid
mass using a chisel or
other carving tool.
Because material is taken away from the mass, carving is known
as a subtractive process for creating sculpture. The most
common materials used in carving sculptures are stone and
wood. In fact, most sculptures throughout history were made
using this method.
Modeling is a process in which the artist uses a soft, pliable
material such as wax, clay, or plaster that is gradually built up and
shaped until the desired form is attained. Unlike carving,
modeling is an additive method, as the sculptor is continually
adding material to the form.
The material may be constructed atop
some sort of metal frame or skeleton
known as an armature to lend support to
the soft material, so it will be able to
maintain its shape.
Casting is the process of
filling a mold with a liquid
material or applying a pliable
material to a form and
allowing it to harden. In
either case, when the
material hardens, the
resulting form is a cast.
LOST WAX CASTING or CIRE-PERDUE
A casting process in which
the mold is formed around a
wax model which is then
melted to leave desired
spaces in the mold. This
process produces a one-time
use mold, or waste mold,
and is often used to produce
small sculptures or jewelry.
Additive processes where existing materials are attached together in
some fashion to create a sculpture. This method of production can be
used to describe the use of a number of different materials and
processes including but not limited to: weaving, welding,
woodworking, blacksmithing, or assemblage.
Assembling found objects in unique ways to create a sculpture.
A found object is anything used in
a work of art that is recognizable
as an object that existed before
the sculpture. Examples include
trash or wood scraps.
Kinetic: Any work
of art with moving
A Few Common Subcategories in Sculpture
Ephemeral: Artwork that is
A work of art that people interact
with or change.
that is designed
for a public