There are many different mediums sculptors can use to create their works of art, but few people understand the process they go through to arrive at their abilities. Many of them begin by learning how to work clay and sculpt it into the vision they see in their mind’s eye, but others know before they ever begin that clay will be too easily worked and passive for their needs. In either case, these artists will travel on a journey that will take them in many different venues where they will learn the basic abilities that will allow them to call themselves sculptors.
Many of the materials used in sculpture are hard materials because they must endure the elements, so learning how to work with them is important. Stones such as marble and granite are favoured by artists for their ability to retain their shape with little or no maintenance for years. While working them requires the artist to learn how to use chisels and hammers, it is important for them to know how the material will come apart as they do their work. Michelangelo’s Pieta is an excellent example of sculpting in marble that has endured throughout the centuries.
For those who prefer to sculpt in metal, there is a different set of working knowledge they must acquire. Learning how to run a forge and hammer on an anvil are important requirements as metal must be heated to make it a viable substance to shape. Some artists prefer to heat the metal to liquid and pour it into moulds, so they must learn yet another type of information to allow them to make moulds that will not break when the liquid metal is poured in.
There are many different ways to sculpt all types of material, and each choice is up to the individual creating their own work. As they expand their knowledge, they can expand their creative abilities by seeking out teachers who can help them learn what they need to know.