Sculptures come in a huge variety of shapes, sizes and materials. It can take any form that imagination can conjure up. This is because there are so many methods and materials that can be used to create a piece of sculpture. The purpose of the artwork and where it will be positioned will also influence the style and material it is made from.
This is not a new concept as ancient carvings and monuments can be found right across the world in intricate and impressive designs. Most were of religious significance or sat outside important civic buildings. They are impressive not only because they were created using early, primitive tools by today’s standards, but also because of how long they have lasted. Many remain anonymous as to who sculpted them, but they have stood the test of time.
A popular choice for outdoor statues and sculptures has always been marble. Such pieces can be found placed outside country homes, stately houses, cathedrals and churches. As with sculpture from any form of rock, the piece would have been carved from a much larger block of solid stone.
Sculptures for outdoor use can also be made from glass, metal or plaster. These more modern materials allow sculptors a much wider medium in which to express themselves and their ideas, the only limit being their imagination. This means that not all sculptures are produced as a result of carving. Some are made form a cast that has been made and the molten material is then poured into the cask and allowed to set. Sculptors who create their work with metal can take existing pieces and bend and shape to their desired form. For Corten Metal Garden Sculptures, visit http://www.afsculpture.uk/portfolio_page/corten-metal-sculptures/
The only real difference between an outdoor and indoor sculpture is the size. The use of materials can be exactly the same but the most popular include bronze or marble. Indoor pieces are not vulnerable to the elements in the way outdoor ones are. This is why many of the finest examples of ancient indoor sculpture still survive today. Past sculptures that were popular were busts of important people that were displayed on pedestals in stately homes and civic buildings. As these pieces often outlive paintings from the era, they are vital in being the only way of seeing what a person looked like.
Today, sculpture has become much more abstract when representing animals or people, with some traditionalists arguing that modern pieces made from contemporary materials should not be classed as sculpture at all!
Some sculptures are only meant to last for a short time, such as those constructed from wood. These will last nowhere near as long as one made from marble, for example. The best example of a short-lived sculpture are those beautiful designs carved from blocks of ice. They involve the same skill and can be just as stunning but are only designed to last for the duration of an event.