Glossary of Terms

Abstract: simplification or distortion of realistic objects so they are not easily recognized

Allegory: symbolic representation of truths or generalizations about human existence

Armature: internal structure used to support a sculpture

Assemblage: three-dimensional art object, often “assembled” from “found” objects

Base: support of a sculpture, usually made of stone, masonry or metal

Bronze: alloy of copper and tin and sometimes other elements

Bust: three-dimensional representation of the upper part of the human figure, usually including the head, neck, shoulders and sometimes parts of the arm and chest

Carving: subtractive process of shaping a sculpture from wood or stone by cutting and chipping

Casting: process of making a three-dimensional object by pouring a liquid material (plastic, metal or clay) into a mold and allowing it to harden

Clay: natural earth material that is pliable when moist and hard when dried or fired

Cor-Ten Steel: steel that weathers, characterized by a rusted appearance

Doric: in classical Greek architecture, the simplest order, with a heavy, fluted column, dish-shaped capital and no base

Earthwork: site-specific sculpture where natural materials are rearranged or assembled in a particular geographic location

Found object: an object that is presented as a work of art or part of one, but which was not originally intended as art

Fountain: water and receptacle with three-dimensional sculptural component

Granite: igneous rock from volcanic activity; the hardest and most difficult stone to carve

Ionic: in classical Greek architecture, an order characterized by fluted columns topped by scroll-like spirals

Limestone: sedimentary rock consisting of carbonate formed from an accumulation of organic remains like shells or coral

Lost wax casting: process of casting metals that utilizes positive and negative molds built around a layer of wax that duplicates the form of the desired object; a final step requires the molds to be heated until the wax melts (is lost), so that liquid material replaces the wax form

Maquette: small-scale model for larger artwork

Marble: metamorphic rock in varying colors

Memorial: usually commemorates a person, place or event

Nonobjective: art form that does not represent any object, figure or element in nature and whose aesthetic content is expressed in a formal pattern or structure of shapes, lines and colors

Patina: natural or induced finish or color on a metal surface

Relief: form of sculpture that is carved or cast; elements project outward in varying degrees from a background plane

Representational: work of art that portray forms from the natural world

Site-specific: art that is designed for a particular place

Steel: alloy of iron; the most common types are Cor-Ten and stainless