If your a sculptor, you are always looking for a better source of raw materials
to make your creations from. This lens is about materials for sculptors
and it will help
you get started. Whether you make art out of metal, wood, stone or all of the above, you will be sure to at least appreciate the information given here.
Materials of all kinds are rapidly increasing in cost so it behooves the frugal artist to find the most cost affective way to create. For metals, there are cuttoffs and drops, for stone there are broken off pieces, and free lumber is readily available.
Strong, flexible, inexpensive and readily available, it is no wonder that steel is a major construction material. To add to its utility,there are huge numbers of alloys for different uses. Some tool steels
are very hard and strong. In fact you may use steel saw blades to cut steel!
For most sculpture uses, mild steel fits the bill in most cases. It is one of the cheapest, widely available steel alloy. It can easily be cut, grinded, drilled, and welded. The best way to source this material is to find a local steel house that caters to the public. Many of these places have a cuttoff, or “drops” that they sell for less than $1 per pound.
Mild steel can be found in tube, round rod, square rod, ractanglur tube, sheet, plate, perforated sheet and expanded metal.
Stainless steel is likely the material your kitchen sink is made of. It is a hard and durable alloy that resist corrosion very well. The combination of these properties and the fact it takes a most impressive shine, make stainless steel invaluable to sculptors. For weldability the widely available 304 alloy is best.
Copper was probably one of the first metals discovered by man. It is soft, easily formed, and somewhat resistant to corrosion. When copper does rust, or patina, it is covered by a beautiful sea foam green carbonate that prevents further deteriioration of the copper metal. There are other chemically produced patinas in a whole range of greens, blues, browns, reds, and black available as well.
Granite, marble, and cement can be used for sculpture. Granite is used for countertops. It can be quite expensive, but if you know a granite
contractor, you may be able to get left overs or broken pieces for free or very low cost. Also websites like freecycle and craigslist may prove useful for granite or marble. Still there are may be another avenue if you live near a major city. Many large cities have a place that accepts lightly used and second hand building materials. They can have anthing from, toilets, marble, granite, screws, glass, drywall, paint etc.
Usually used as the mineral hydrocal, plaster is a verstatile medium for sculptors. It can be cast, carved and painted. Sometimes, like in this sculpture featured in the photo,
the simple white finish of the plaster adds an air of sophistication to the abstract organic form represented in this piece.
Most houses and apartments are made of it, it is lighter than metal and stone, and with the right preparation, will last a long time. It can be cut in various ways, drilled, routed, and glued,
In many cases, lumber can be had for free. Many times, a property management company will hire a contractor to do some rebuilding jobs. The contractor will bill the property management company for lumber purchased and , in many cases, will discard left over lumber in dumpsters. It is a good idea to keep your eyes open when renovations are made to apartments or condiminiums. Sometimes free lumber can be found on craiglist or freecycle