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Sculpture Glossary Index

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Alabaster is a name applied to a mineral known as gypsum (a hydrous sulfate of calcium). Also called satin spar, it is readily carved, as it is not extremely hard.

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is any of various alloys of copper and tin, sometimes with tin or other metals. It has commonly been used in casting. A work cast in bronze is sometimes referred to as a bronze. It may also refer to the color of bronze, a moderate yellowish to olive brown.

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is a composite construction material, composed of cement (commonly Portland cement) and other cementitious materials such as fly ash and slag cement, aggregate (generally a coarse aggregate made of gravels or crushed rocks such as limestone, or granite, plus a fine aggregate such as sand), water, and chemical admixtures. The word concrete comes from the Latin word "concretus" (meaning compact or condensed), the perfect passive participle of "concresco", from "com-" (together) and "cresco" (to grow).

Cor-ten Steel

is a type of steel that oxidizes naturally over time, giving it an orange-brown color and a rough texture. It has a very high tensile strength, and in spite of its rusted appearance it is actually more resistant to damaging corrosion than standard forms of carbon steel. It has been used by many contemporary sculptors and architects. United States Steel Corporation says "COR-TEN® is a registered trademark of United States Steel Corporation and can only be used for products produced by United States Steel Corporation or its licensees. COR-TEN® Steel has proven to be an excellent product for bridges, primary structural framing and sculpture."

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is an operation whose business it is to cast bronze sculptures

Fused glass

is a term used to describe glass that has been fired (heat-processed) in a kiln at a range of high temperatures from 593 °C (1,099 °F) to 816 °C (1,501 °F). There are 3 main distinctions for temperature application and the resulting effect on the glass. Firing in the lower ranges of these temperatures 593–677 °C (1,099–1,251 °F) is called slumping. Firing in the middle ranges of these temperatures 677–732 °C (1,251–1,350 °F) is considered "tack fusing". Firing the glass at the higher spectrum of this range 732–816 °C (1,350–1,501 °F) is a "full fuse".

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is a common name for a large number of woods that have a reputation for hardness. Usage of the name may (or may not) include the tree that yields this wood

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is a small preliminary model, for a work of sculpture


is a metamorphic rock resulting from the metamorphism of limestone,composed largely of calcite. It is used extensively for sculpture and is capable of taking a high polish.


is a green building material produced by the US-based Sierra Pine Company. It can be used as an environmentally-friendly substitute for plywood or particleboard in any interior, non-structural application. Medite® is similar to medium-density fiberboard (MDF) in that it is made from finely shredded wood fibers rather than wood chips or sawdust. The fibers are tightly compressed and bound with resin to form a densely constructed sheet of wood.

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can be intentionally applied using chemicals and a torch to affect a sculpture’s coloration or can be the result of exposure to the elements (moisture or air pollution).


is a building material similar to mortar or cement. Like those materials, plaster starts as a dry powder that is mixed with water to form a paste which liberates heat and then hardens. Unlike mortar and cement, plaster remains quite soft after setting, and can be easily manipulated with metal tools or even sandpaper. These characteristics make plaster suitable for a finishing, rather than a load-bearing material. The term plaster can refer to gypsum plaster (also known as plaster of Paris), lime plaster, or cement plaster.


signifies more than two colors on the sculpture’s surface

Posthumous casting

represents an artwork produced after the artist’s death, which negates the possibility of the artist qualitatively judging casting’s appearance

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Stainless steel

is defined as a steel alloy with a minimum of 10.5 or 11% chromium content by mass. Stainless steel does not stain, corrode, or rust as easily as ordinary steel, but it is not stain-proof. There are different grades and surface finishes of stainless steel to suit the environment the alloy must endure. Stainless steel is used where both the properties of steel and resistance to corrosion are required.

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