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Techniques | French Sculpture Census
Get to Know Us. English Choose a language for shopping. Explore the Home Gift Guide. Amazon Music Stream millions of songs. Amazon Advertising Find, attract, and engage customers. Amazon Drive Cloud storage from Amazon. Alexa Actionable Analytics for the Web. AmazonGlobal Ship Orders Internationally. In order to reduce the weight of cast bronze sculptures, metal armatures used in the build-up of the core are often removed after casting, when the support is no longer needed. On the other hand, armatures contained in plaster and wax sculptures are not easily removed and add needed strength to the finished work.
Iron armatures left in sculpture can be the cause of damage due to rusting of the iron. When present, armature remnants can be detected through the use of radiography X-rays. You can also consult or watch: BRONZING Coating a surface to give it the appearance of bronze, generally through the application of metallic powders usually copper or copper alloys such as brass ; the powder may be mixed into a paint medium such as linseed oil and brushed on, or the surface may be coated with a tacky substance and the powder dusted on.
A work made of an inexpensive material like wood might be treated to look like cast bronze, and artists frequently bronzed their preparatory plaster models as a means of approximating the appearance of the final cast bronze. Plaster casts of finished sculptures were often bronzed and served as inexpensive reproductions which were popular in the nineteenth century. Among the most popular European carving materials from the Renaissance through the nineteenth century were marble, wood and ivory.
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The hand tools and techniques used to carve these materials have changed little since antiquity and essentially involve the application of force to a sharpened cutting edge. Marble carvers use drills as well as a variety of iron tools, which are struck with heavy mallets or, since the early twentieth century, powered by compressed air. Wood can be carved by applying hand pressure on knives, chisels, and gouges, by striking chisels and gouges with wooden mallets, or by filing or drilling. The tools and techniques for carving ivory are similar to those for wood, but levered scraping tools and files are more commonly employed.
Although plaster and clay sculptures are often built by modeling or casting, their surfaces can be carved once the material has begun to harden. Carving Marbles with Traditional Tools: The initial stage of chasing a cast bronze sculpture is sometimes called fettling, which includes scrubbing the surface to remove the black oxide layer, as well as removing the sprues and vents, and the fins or flashes resulting from cracks and joins in the mold, by sawing, filing, and chiseling.
The core, core pins, and ARMATURE are often removed if possible, the core pin holes and casting flaws are filled with plugs or cast-in repairs, and separately cast elements are joined together. The next chasing step involves the finer tooling of the surface, including: The chasing of a sculpture requires tremendous skill and time, and its level of quality varies greatly with each artist. The resulting bronzes, sometimes called replicas, are substantially the same in size, form, and composition. The repeated use of the same molds ensures consistency among the bronzes in the edition, but slight variations occur due to castings flaws, to differences in CHASING if the finishing of each bronze is entrusted to a different foundry assistant , or to deterioration of the molds.
An edition is usually limited to a certain number of casts; the size of an edition may be determined by either the artist or the foundry, depending upon the nature and purpose of the commission. Although multiple casts of bronzes were executed as early as the late fifteenth century, the widespread production of bronzes in large editions began in the nineteenth century. The surface to be coated is submerged in a bath containing an electrolyte solution and a solid piece of the plating metal.
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An electric current is applied to the bath, causing the plating metal to dissolve and deposit onto the surface to be coated. That surface must be electrically conductive; it can be metal, or a material such as wood, plaster, or wax that has been made conductive by coating it with graphite or a metallic powder.
Although pure metals such as silver, gold, and copper are most easily deposited, electroplating alloys such as brass is also possible. Since they are difficult to chemically patinate, electroplated surfaces are frequently coated with colored lacquers see PATINA. Electroplating was discovered in the early nineteenth century and came into common use in the s.
A similar technique, electroforming, builds a metal shell onto a positive pattern. The mold or pattern can be made of wax or plaster coated with an electrically conductive material such as graphite. Electrotypes were often backed with other metals such as lead to strengthen the shell and make them as heavy as a cast sculpture. An electrotype made of a less expensive material, like copper, can be electroplated with silver or gold to give the impression of a solid silver or gold casting.
Electrotyping was developed in the mid-nineteenth century and gave rise to the mass production of affordable works of art and decoration for the general public. Because of the expense and experience needed to run a foundry, as well as local guild restrictions, artists often entrusted the casting of their models to professional founders rather than establishing foundries within their own workshops. The stamp may be pressed or carved into the wax MODEL or the core before casting or incised or stamped into the cast metal itself.
A surface which has been covered by gilding is said to be gilt or gilded. The term applies to a variety of techniques and is sometimes used in reference to other coatings meant to imitate gold, such as silver leaf, tin leaf, or palladium leaf a non-tarnishing silver-colored metal coated with gold-colored GLAZES; Dutch metal brass leaf, also called schlag leaf and composition leaf ; and "gold powders" made of gold-colored brass see BRONZING. As a decorative technique, the purpose of gilding is to create illusionistic effects.
A sculpture that is completely gilded appears to be solid gold, while a partially gilded surface can imitate the appearance of other textures and materials. The term parcel gilt refers to partial gilding of selected elements. When silver leaf is employed for its own sake rather than to imitate gold, the term used is silver gilt, or silvering. GLAZE In ceramic sculpture, a silica-based glassy coating fused to a ceramic body, which functions as both a decorative and a protective layer. Glazing over silver leaf could be used to give the appearance of gold or gemstones; in addition, the resin protects the silver leaf from tarnishing.
Glazes applied over opaque paint layers lend a luminous quality to the underlying paint. Colorants used for resin glazes include dyes, pigments, and stains.
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JOIN A location on a sculpture where two separate sections have been fitted together. Because artists took great care to hide their joins, join lines are often detectable only through radiography X-rays.
On metal sculpture, separate pieces can be joined mechanically by means of rivets, pins, screws, and dove-tailed joints, or by soldering, welding, or casting adjoining sections in place. On wood sculpture, woodworking joins such as butt and mortise-and-tenon can be used in combination with glue and nails. The join lines in polychrome wood sculpture were often covered with cloth to obscure the gaps caused when the pieces expanded or contracted in different directions and at different rates.
The term commonly refers to life-size reproductions of organisms, such as plants e. The resulting images appear extremely life-like and accurately record every detail of texture and anatomy. Historians disagree as to whether the practice originated in Italy, France, or Germany; the Italian tradition dates to at least the fourteenth century. In addition to serving as independent sculptures, specimens cast from nature frequently decorated metalwork and ceramic plates and vessels in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.
Molds of human anatomy, such as the hands or face, can also be referred to as life casts when taken directly from a living subject. When creating waxes for hollow casts, the wax can be formed in two ways: Once the core-filled wax model has been completed by either the direct or indirect method, core pins are driven through the wax into the core and left projecting so that they will engage the outer part of the mold the investment and preserve the distance between the core and outer mold once the wax is gone.
A circulatory system of channels made of wax is then added: The sprued wax is then enclosed within the investment. The entire assemblage of core, wax model, and outer investment are heated to evaporate all moisture and to melt out the wax.
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