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The Dictionary defines sculpture as:
1. The art of making figures or designs in relief or in the round by carving, modelling etc. or casting metals etc.
2. Works, or a work made in this way.
3. Ridges or indentations, as on a shell, made by natural processes.
Sculpture can be anything that is three-dimensional which has been made for the purpose of observation and/or tactile sensation. Here is a brief guide to some of the methods commonly used:
Carving: the cutting away of wood, stone etc. to produce a shape which is unique in its original material.
Modelling: The building up of a shape in clay, plaster, wax, papier-mache etc to make a work which may then require other processes (eg firing or casting) to turn it into a stable material.
Moulding: Making a mould on a piece of original art so that it can be duplicated in various materials to make copies.
Casting: The process of making a copy of a work in a mould, either in a foundry (for molten metals) or in the studio, by the use of resins, cements, plasters etc.
Firing: Heating clay in a kiln to produce a permanent material.
Patination: Treatment of the surface of a finished work with chemicals, waxes etc. for colouration and texture.
Mixed media: A sculpture made up of two or more different materials (eg, wood and stone).
Collage and construction: An assemblage of joined ‘found items’.