The art of making two or three-dimensional forms have four basic techniques that are followed by the artists. The processes are carried on with either addition or subtraction method.
Carving: Chipping away to achieve the shape from a mass of stone, wood or other hard material. It is a subtractive process where the material is eliminated systematically from outside.
Casting: These castings are made from materials that can be poured into the mold. The castings are removed from the mold. The metal, for example, is meltdown into a mold and the mold is allowed to cool down, hardening the metal. This is an additive process.
Modelling: These sculptures are created with a malleable material such as clay. They are built up, sometimes over an armature and shaped to create a form.
Assembling: Different materials are brought together to create an assembled sculpture.
The contemporary stone sculpting camp follows a Modeling technique where most of the sculptures are built by the additive process. To build a sculpture work there are rough steps that are followed imperceptibly. The armature is the very basic step, where a structure is built out of wires and iron rods. The cement mix is applied to the armature, the second step. The consistency of the cement mix and the finishing of the forms that need to be created becomes the third final step while working on the modelling technique. The structure follows the form that has to be made. Needed lengths of iron rods are cut with the help of a hacksaw. A set of rods are arranged horizontally first and another set of rods is placed vertically on top later. With the help of binding wires, these rods are locked together. This forms the base, to begin with, the armature or the skeleton.
The armature is begun with the welding of iron rods to the base. The iron rods are bent and tied with binding wires to achieve the skeleton form of the sculptures. This becomes one of the important steps as the final outlook depends on the armature perfected. Once the foundation is right, it allows the anatomy to be right, and hence the armature has to be corrected before beginning with the cement coating. The armature or the skeleton is ready, it is checked if it needs a sheet of mesh to be covered that helps the armature gain a strong form. Sometimes covering with a sheet of mesh saves the amount of cement that goes into making. There are various kinds of mesh that are available, depending on the work and the style of the sculpture, the wire mesh must be chosen. The wire mesh is also used to get a fine finish of forms this helps in the final outlook of the sculpture.
Sand, Brick Pieces and Cement:
The sand is filtered and the grains are removed. Small brick pieces and gravel are gathered. The dry materials cement and sand are taken in appropriate proportions and mixed with water. Measurements are given as volumes. Applying to the wire mesh needs a drier mix of cement that feels more like clay and stays in place until it sets. The small pieces of brick are stuck along with the cement to achieve the form in armatures where the mesh is not used. After the form is roughly achieved by the small pieces of brick, the form is built with the addition of cement layers. The cement mix is carried on the consistency that the work needs.
The cement gets hard depending on the mix and the temperature. It can be worked with rough layers or carved once the initial layers are applied. Whilst the structure of cement dries completely then it becomes harder comparable to working with stone. It is best to work in the initial stages or set so that the bonding of layers and the addition of the layers are possible.
Sculpting and Finishing:
The forms of the sculpture are inclined to be controlled from the inside. There are no external enclosing forms and planes, as in carved sculpture. The overall design of the work is achieved or estimated from its volumes, proportions, and axial arrangement determined by the fundamental forms and the smaller forms, surface modelling and enhancing details are all formed around and sustained by this fundamental structure. The modelling method allows dimensions of material to have no limits and extend into space. The surface is given textures with the sculpting tools. The majority of the sculptures appear to be finished in their original forms for some, final textures are added.