Sculpture – Introduction, Types, Techniques, Elements and Facts

by theartinvogue on 03/02/2021


A sculpture is essentially an artistic form in which hard or plastic materials are worked into three-dimensional objects using a variety of materials like clay, stone, metal, fabric, wood, wax, plaster, rubber, fabric etc. These are shaped and combined to form an art piece. Used as an expression in the religious and political fields, the creation of sculptures go back a long way.

Types Of Sculpture


These kinds of sculptures come out of a flat surface in a way that one can interpret as something coming out of the said surface. Then turning into a shallow three-dimensional space they project themselves as being a part of a background which isn’t necessary. They don’t add or take away anything from the figure.

High Relief

These objects come out of the background in such a substantial way that most part of the art piece is outside. Hence you can figure out and understand the formation of the object completely.

Bas Relief

Also known as Low Relief this kind of a sculpture is something which has a good frontal view for understanding the perspective of the artist.

Sunken Relief

The carving of this particular sculpture takes place from below and it comes out of its framework in a raised manner. This is also called Intaglio or Incised Relief.


For sculpting, various techniques are used to make every piece a masterpiece. Some of the techniques are modeling, carving, casting and assembling.

Modeling is highly flexible as it permits adding away or taking away any kind of material. Coming to carving, it is strictly limited to the foundational block of which the material is expected to be subtracted. Casting is basically duplicating a piece which already exists. This piece can either be modeled, carved or constructed. But carving makes certain effects possible which won’t be feasible to do in the other techniques. Assembling just means using different materials to make a composition out of them.

The initial sculpting techniques have evolved over time as things like the firing of the clay from simple terra-cotta to glazing ceramics elaborately are nowhere to be seen. For carving, the use of materials like stone, wood, bone and now plastic has been seen for a very long time by using tools like hammers, chisels, saws, drills etc.

Another technique called bronze casting is also one of the oldest with the lost wax process used by the Greeks and Chinese which was again revived in the Renaissance and modern times.


Important elements of sculpture include mass and space. All sculpture is made from some kind of material that has mass and the space it takes is the surface which is three-dimensional. The material, solid, bulk which occupies space is thus the mass. Some other elements of the sculpture are surface, volume, light and shade and colour.


– Every Starlite Originals sculpture begins with an original made of plasticine, which is the result of an artists’ sculpting and re-sculpting. First-generation models are created from these originals and the sectioning of each sculpture into a myriad is done for creating individual cavities. The sculptures are made from any one of a combination of different materials.

– Mixed media is nothing but the combination of various fine metals such as lost wax bronze, brass, copper etc.

– After the delivery of the original sculpture in the form of plasticine to the foundry the working models are being created by Starlite master mold makers from the originals. After the completion of the mold the molten metal is left to cool into cavities at room temperature. The next step is removing the piece from the mold, cleaning, assembling and hand tooling it till it looks exactly like how it was made by the artist. After that, the sculpture has to go through metal plating processes. This completes the Mixed Media process.

– Sold Out sculpture is when the entire collection is sold out. Whereas, a retired sculpture is one whose production has been stopped, but the collection hasn’t sold out. Before the completion of the edition, the production has been stopped and the molds are burned. Hence the number of these sculptures is way less than the edition size. Once a sculpture is retired it is then available for a year and is considered a closeout.

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