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Old 08-17-2009, 07:18 PM
PTsideshow PTsideshow is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Southeast Michigan
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Book review: The Materials and Methods of Sculpture

This is the book that was mentioned in another thread
The Materials and Methods of Sculpture
Jack C Rich
Dover publications
This is the republication of the 1988 Dover edition of the ninth printing of the original 1947 Oxford edition
Trade paperback
ISBN 0-486-25742-8
Copyright 1974,1947by Jack C Rich

I have to start off with the disclaimer about some of the methods and materials found and published in this original book. are no longer considered safe to use today. Yes it is a new edition and nothing was changed from the original.

That being said this could be called a mini version of Oppi Untracht Jewelry concepts and technology, for the sculpture arts.
I skimmed the book,and read over a couple of sections. It lives up to its hype and the one time I was shown a hard cover first edition.

The Anatomy of Sculpture

The Plastic Earths, from the most basic to the latest in 1947. natural prep, modeling, casting, firing.

Plastic Wax, modeling,carving,and composition clay.

Plaster of Paris, from the historical to the everything in between. Chemical,mixing,phenomenon of setting surface treatments, coloring,mold making for non ferrous metals, carving etc.

Casting, molds and types agar,gelatine,glue,Krogel, plaster,rubber,sulphur,and wax.

Metals, after some discussion of use of metals and the characteristics it go on to alloys and from Aluminum, to Wood's metal and zinc and everything in between. Along with the good points and bad suggested methods and casting info. enough that at the time the book was written one could make an informed decision abut what would work and what wouldn't.

The surface treatment of metals, from Bidri,bronzing, plating,etching and others. to the patination, cleaning of bronze polishing and old school method of hot and cold lacquering of metal.

Stone all the basics you need to know about stone and the types, the common and not so common types, durability and outdoor exposure, the preservation of stone.

Sculpture in Stone, Tools and equipment,methods of approach to stone carving, and the craving and treatment of stone.

Wood, again all the basics to pick the direction to go.
And before the end.

Other Sculptural Materials, from amber to terrazo, and ivory,bone,plastic's,soap, coal,concrete,butter, ice and snow. Along with some other old school stuff that most never heard of.

There are 281 B&W illustrations in 62 plates and some drawings. What I liked about it it covers most of the area that questions crop up on these forums. It is great for use by a metal artist if they would like to add stone/wood base to their work.

Since it is difficult to find out the angle of the chisel to achieve that certain surface on stone, this book shows you. This is one that should be on every sculptors book shelf, no matter what the medium they use. As the cross information will come in handy. It is a good read and I know what I will be doing when I finish this review.
It is only &16.95 plus shipping from Dover web site it also maybe on sale!
been there done that !
I am not a lawyer, and never played one on TV!
All the usual
and standard disclaimers apply. Do not try this at home, use only as directed, No warranties express or implied, for the intended use or suggested uses, Wear safety glasses, closed course, professionals only
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Old 08-18-2009, 06:28 AM
WillPaq's Avatar
WillPaq WillPaq is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Virginia
Posts: 208
Re: Book review: The Materials and Methods of Sculpture

This is an excellent resource. It's true some methods are outdated or slightly dangerous, but as a whole it's an encyclopedia which submits the general methods used in the time of it's publication, many of which are still appropriate.

I myself find great knowledge in understanding the totality of creative techniques, because even if a procedure has been surpassed by better, simpler, safer procedures, knowing all possible methods helps one develop a fuller understanding, as well as a finer appreciation.

The metals area of this volume are quite extensive, giving a broad overview which I found very helpful.

Thanks for the review.
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