Copyright © 2007 Dorling Kindersley
Sculpture is three-dimensional art. Traditionally, there are two main methods: carving material such as wood or stone, and modeling forms by adding pieces of material such as clay. Modern artists have explored new materials and techniques.
The term refers to the three dimensions of space—length, breadth, and depth. It is a useful way of distinguishing between art such as painting, drawing, and prints, which are two-dimensional (flat), and sculpture, which is three-dimensional.
Not all sculptures are carved in the round. Relief sculptures are carved on one side only, and stand out from a background surface. Relief panels have been used since ancient times, often to decorate important buildings, such as temples and churches.
Techniques depend upon the materials used. When carving stone or wood, the sculptor chips away with a hammer and chisel. When sculpting clay, artists may use their hands. Clay models may be cast in bronze to create a strong, permanent sculpture. Other techniques include welding metal, molding plastic or concrete, and using fiberglass.