Many of us take art for granted, not realising that we walk past it every day on our way to shops or work. Art is not just found in museums and galleries but there are many examples of it in public, whether in parks, tube stations or city centres. Many of these take the form of sculptures, so what exactly does a sculptor do?
Sculptors are finely skilled artist who designs ideas for creating statues or sculptures. They then turn them into a 3D reality by joining materials together, normally stone, wood, glass, ice or metal. Almost any material can be used though, including plastic, waste, paper, fabric, clay or rubber. For amazing examples of Corten Metal Sculpture, visit http://www.afsculpture.uk
Sculpture was one of the earliest forms of artistic expression by humans and examples of this artform can be found all over the globe, with some dating back as far as 10,000 BC. These days, sculptors are commissioned to provide attractive pieces for public parks, outside important buildings, company lobbies or large estate gardens. Sculptors can also be commissioned by private individuals who are seeking a certain style or theme.
Before a final sculpture is unveiled, a lot of planning and preparation has taken place. Often artists will create a maquette first, which is a smaller rough version of the final design. This is a good way of visualizing what it will look like and testing out different ideas, shapes and materials.
Materials that are hard are often worked at with chisels, such as a section of marble or rock. Different materials can also be moulded together to form a much larger sculpture. A steady hand and a great deal of patience is required as one wrong move could damage the whole project.
Different types of sculpture:
Relief – This is a 2-dimensional base layer which projects outwards from various angles.
In-the-round – This is what comes to mind when most people think about sculptures. This is an object that can be viewed from any angle when stood on a pedestal, also known as a ‘free-standing’ sculpture like Michelangelo’s ‘David’, for example.
Kinetic – This includes all the features of a free-standing sculpture but will contain moving parts, powered by mechanical means or by water or wind.
Assemblage – A more current trend that involves forging objects together from scavenged scrap or waste that have little or no relationship to each other. A famous example of this form is Picasso’s bull’s head made from bicycle handlebars and the seat.
What does it take to become an artist?
Many of the greats were not afraid to take risks. These risks were not without calculation and thought but involved an element of risk anyhow. Whether it’s trying a new medium, subject or tackling a controversial topic, artists are usually those prepared to take risks. Being a successful artist also means not being afraid of making mistakes. Mistakes are a critical part of the creative process. Perseverance through moments of doubt and imperfection is another quality that successful artists share. It takes a lot of hard work and dedication to perfect a craft so artists are motivated, observant and ambitious.