New Love For Modern Sculpting

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New Love For Modern Sculpting

It doesn’t take an art buff to enjoy great art and sculptures are certainly one of the oldest and finest mediums for artistic expression. Although I’m not so sure everyone can get used to artistic nudity as easily as others, one of the most famous sculptures I’ve ever heard of would have to be the statue of David by the Renaissance artist, Michelangelo. I certainly couldn’t say it’s my absolute favorite (since I don’t think I really have one yet!) but I can definitely appreciate the technical skill, time, effort, and patience it would take for any artist of any caliber to achieve such a feat.

camera-sculpture

This is certainly entertaining to think about when I look at this picture: it’s a photograph of a sculpture of a camera. Just the concept itself is something that makes me smirk, but that aside, I have to say it’s exceptional. The level of detail and the color variation and shading that are achieved in a sculpture is nothing short of masterful. The background setting being a fountain at a courtyard only seems all the more fitting. © Ana Ulin.

I’m interested in some of the more modern means of sculpting (such as what you can see in the photo below) lately, not so much to invest in attempting a foray into that craft, but just purely for creative curiosity. When making sculptures used for jewelry, there are many things as an artist you can do to make your work transferable. The newer tools are interesting to say the least and usually a lot more technical in their application than the usual chisel and hammer that one is probably used to associating with sculpting.

sculpture-armature

This is something that’s quite a bit different from the traditional marble carvings, but I do have a certain respect for the more new school practices when it comes to sculpture. This aperture is set up in such a way that a mesh layer (as seen in the bottom right picture) can be placed over the basic framework and clay can then be attached and molded onto this basic skeletal framework to then go through the extensive process of the real sculpting work. © Don Cochrane.

If I had to pick a type of sculpting that I could probably get into it would have to be something like pottery, such as in the photo below. I suppose if people could slow down from their high-tech and high-speed lives, they might enjoy putting their time into something a bit more fulfilling than a new app on their smart phones.

pottery-wheel-sculpting

Now here is something that’s a lot more my speed (but I’m an amateur at best). Using a pottery wheel is one of the oldest forms of sculpting and it’s certainly evolved into higher artistic expressions throughout the centuries (there are some exquisite relics and antiques out there in museums). © Arlington County.

Beading With An Edge

I know that I can come across as something of an elitist sometimes when I’m talking about something I really enjoy but trust me it always comes from a good place. I guess maybe I’m overly enthusiastic about certain forms of artistic expression but lately in the past few months I’ve been studying more and more about beads and embroidery, not so much for me to get some first-hand practice on the craft (although that might change in the future, though not just yet), but I’ve studied it for purely scholastic interests thus far. That said, as a simple consumer I’ve been on the hunt for some unusual beads that are one of a kind so I can get the most out of my hard-earned dollars. So after checking out that site in that hyperlink just for a few minutes, I could tell immediately that it would be a great resource for future reference.

beaded-corset

My interest in different cultures around the world was the motivation for putting up this photo, I’ll admit that much. Here is a beaded corset made in Southern Sudan. I have a certain affectionate respect for things that are hand-made like this corset. © Ann Porteus.

I like seeing the different uses that beading has in different ways, and how they’ve changed over the generations. If I remember correctly, corsets were originally more often used by men than women, but these days you don’t see many men wear them at all and they are typically marketed to and used by women around the world, a great deal more so than to men.

beaded-watch-band

I hadn’t considered beading to be as universally useful like in this photo of a beaded watch band. Some people may not like the color or the size or transparency of these beads but I can imagine a million different kinds of color schemes and bead styles that could be used just for a watch band… © Sally Mahoney.

It’s refreshing to see beading make a comeback in some way that’s a bit more masculine or asexual rather than just constantly leaning toward one specific type of feminine-minded personality category.

knight-armor-beaded-interiors

I remember learning several years ago about the general make up and how to craft and maintain some types of medieval armor and I then learned that many of the edges of some types of armor (shields and hilts of weapons included as well) and also battle skirts worn under the outer layers of thicker armor, often had beaded and embroidered crafting put into them. It’s amusing to me that such dangerous and masculine tools of warfare would be associated with something that is now stereotypically associated as being a feminine craft! © Patrick Lordan.

The Sculpting Of Then And Now

I think there’s a lot of interesting history and specific culture that creates the root of why people sculpt in the modern world.  But for millennia, we’ve often focused on purely the theological aspects and inspirations, which by and large, are still a major factor, if not an obvious aesthetic or physical feature.  The symmetrical aesthetic features of sculpting are nothing unfamiliar to the modern artist, whether you’re a photographer looking for the perfect model or a painter or cartoonist trying to get your eyes and hands to be that perfect proportion, symmetry is always a huge factor.  While we might not see a religious icon’s face in a modern sculptor’s work, we may certainly see certain cues from the old school artists who had a certain way of making the curve of a cheek look good enough to be considered worth of belonging to a deity.

mahakala-hindu-sculpture

I think the name mahakala is very fitting for a statue like this to be in such good condition after hundreds of years don’t you?  (The credit for the photo for this beautiful sculpture goes to bobistraveling via flickr.com).

Isn’t this an imposing looking sculpture of an ancient mahakala (meaning beyond time and/or death in the literal translation).  It is considered to be a physical depiction of an ethereal deity in Tibetan, Chinese and Japanese Buddhism, and is often depicted as having two, or four, or even six arms.  That’s certainly nothing new to those who enjoy studying different religions, take the deity Asura for instance, which is the name for another multi-armed deity in Buddhism and for other demigods in Hinduism (If you’ve ever seen the video game Asura’s Wrath then you can see that even a religion with thousands of years of history has an influence on pop culture today, even if it comes in the form of an over the top action video game that takes most of its thematic inspiration from Japanese anime).

Cartoon Mummy

Now I’m not an expert on carbon dating or well versed in the areas of sculpting in history enough to argue how valuable something is based on its age, but this ancient Egyptian sculpture of a mummy is probably worth more than any amount of money I could ever make in my lifetime!  Credit for this inspiring picture belongs to David Boeke of flickr.com.

With an appreciation for these beautiful sculptures from ages past it’s a great feeling to see how far people have come in the art form.  Well, of course we’ve advanced in more than just our ability to sculpt or build but you get what I mean right?

butler-campus-sculpture

This very modern piece of colorful metal sculpting actually adorns a college campus somewhere, and that’s not half-bad if you ask me, since most modern art looks like nothing but this one has a certain futuristic sci-fi appeal to me.  At any rate, credit for this guy belongs to Jack Pearce.