ART AUCTION GLOSSARY - Sculpture 
 
Sculpture:      Sculpture is a three-dimensional work of art created through carving, modeling, casting and construction.
Acrylic / Plastic:       Acrylic/plastic is a synthetic material made from the polymerization of organic compounds. As technology advanced, the use of plastics in art became more prevalent in the latter half of the 20th century.
Brass:    Brass is an alloy of zinc and copper.
Bronze:    A very dense alloy of 60% copper and 40% tin, bronze is the most universally popular metal used in the casting of sculpture.
Composite:    Composite materials are made from two or more substances with significantly different properties.
Glass:    Glass refers to a uniform amorphous solid material created from the rapid cooling of molten materials.
Expendable Mold Casting:     Expendable mold casting includes most methods which use mold making materials such as sand, shell, plaster and investment. A characteristic of these methods is their use of temporary, non-reusable molds.
Non-expendable Mold Casting:     Non-expendable mold casting differs from expendable in that the molds do not have to be reformed after their initial cast. A few of the specific methods include permanent, die, centrifugal, and continuous.
Centrifugal Casting:    A type of non-expendable mold casting, centrifugal casting is gravity and pressure-independent. In this method, molten metal is poured into the cavity of a spinning chamber.
Continuous Casting:    A non-expendable casting method, continuous casting is used for high-volume production of metal sections. In this technique, the cast shape is continuously withdrawn through the bottom of the mold so that the specific dimensions of the mold do not determine the length of the sculpture.
Die Casting:    In this non-expendable casting method, molten metals are forced into steel molds, or dies.
Investment or Lost-Wax Casting:    Investment casting, or the lost-wax process, is one of the oldest metal-forming methods. It is often an expensive process, but the intricate details and contours of the cast are well worth it. In this process, a wax original is enclosed in an outer mold. The wax is then melted and evacuated from the mold under high temperatures, and the resulting voids are filled with metal, producing the final sculpture.
Permanent Mold Casting:    A form of non-expendable casting, permanent mold casting is typically used for iron, aluminum, magnesium, and copper-based alloys. It is highly automated and requires weeks of preparation before the casting begins.
Plaster Casting:     Similar to sand casting, patterns are sprayed with a thin film to prevent the mold from sticking, and then covered in plaster, which fills the small spaces around the pattern. The form is then removed and filled with metals such as aluminum, zinc and copper.
Cast Plaster, Concrete, or Plastic Resin:     Plaster or concrete can also be cast using single waste or multiple piece molds. The final product lacks the aesthetic quality that most metals acquire after casting. Therefore, plaster, plastic or concrete sculptures are typically painted to give the appearance of metal or stone.
Ceramic Shell Mold:   This is a casting process which involves a sand and resin mold making mixture, which takes weeks to produce a final sculpture. There are at least a dozen stages in the shell mold process.. 
Sand Casting:    Sand casting is typically used for low-temperature metals such as iron, copper, aluminum, magnesium and nickel alloys. In this method, materials are poured into a mold of compacted sand. Sand cast sculpture is easily identified by its textured surface, and lack of delicacy.
Waste Mold:    In this expendable plaster mold casting method, a thin plaster mold is cast over an original clay model. When removed from the clay, the details of the clay are destroyed, but captured in the mold. This mold can then be used to cast metals with a low melting temperature, such as pewter, or water based casting compounds, such as plaster.
Ceramic:    This term refers to clay objects fired at a high temperature, in a kiln, creating a ceramic form. While some ceramic pieces are classified as fine art, others are considered decorative, industrial or applied arts. 
Copper:     Copper is a reddish-brown metal. Copper surfaces are often finished with patina which can range from brown to green.
Decoupage:     Decoupage refers to a type of collage made from cutting patterns out of paper or other materials and affixing them upon a three-dimensional object. Typically the surface is then varnished for preservation purposes.
Found Object Sculpture:    Found object sculpture incorporates natural and/or man-made objects that are not typically considered art in and of themselves, but when combined by an artist, the result acquires aesthetic value.
Iron:    Iron is a heavy, ductile, and magnetic metal which is often used in sculpture.
Mixed Media Sculpture:    A mixed media sculpture employs multiple media to create a final piece. For example, the artist might have utilized both wood and metal to create the final product.
Other Cast Metals:    Other cast metals refer to a variety of unknown materials used for creating cast sculptures.
Other Synthetic Metals:    Other synthetic metals refer to a variety of synthetic materials used to create sculptures.
Plaster:    Plaster is a dry powdery medium which, when mixed with water, forms a hardened paste. In the visual arts, it is most often used to cast clay models for sculpture.
Steel:    Steel is an alloy of iron and carbon used in sculpture and architecture. 
Stone:    Stone is a hard medium composed of aggregate minerals such as marble, limestone or sandstone, used to produce three-dimensional objects. For the most part, sculptors use a hammer and chisel as the basic tools in the carving of stone.
Wood:    Wood is the fibrous surface harvested from the trunks of trees. It can come in a variety of colors and patterns with unique attributes contributing to its aesthetic quality.


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