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Glossary Of Terms

Bronze: a metal alloy composed of copper and tin that is ideally suited for casting sculpture.

Cast: (n) a sculpture produced from a mold; (v) to make sculpture from a mold.

Enlargement: a sculpture that has been made in a size larger than the artist’s first design.

Foundry: a workshop where metal sculptures are cast.

Freestanding: sculpture that is not attached to a background plane or wall and is therefore completely three-dimensional (the opposite of “relief”).

Lost-wax casting: a process of creating a cast by replacing a wax model (within a mold) with bronze. The wax is heated and “lost,” leaving the cavity free for the molten bronze.

Maquette: a small model made by a sculptor as a preparation for a larger finished work; sort of a sculpted sketch.

Modeling: making form out of a soft, flexible substance such as clay or wax.

Mold: a hollow form that is created by the shape of the sculpture being cast.

Patina: originally, a greenish film caused by oxidation on the surface of old bronze. Today the term is also used to describe the result of a chemical substance being applied to the surface of a sculpture – it changes the surface to protect it and also to give it an intentional aesthetic effect.

Reduction: a sculpture that has been made in a size smaller than the artist’s first design.

Relief: a type of sculpture in which the subject is carved or modeled from a retained flat background plane. It is thus not completely three-dimensional and often described by the degree of projection – basmezzo and alto (low, medium, and high).

Salon: the exhibitions of painting and sculpture held annually in Paris under the aegis of the French Royal Academy. The Salon’s origins date back to 1667, but it reached its greatest power during the eighteenth-century.