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Sculpting 101

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Sculpting is the art of creating or representing a subject by casting, carving or shaping. To create a sculpture, artists use two main processes; adding and subtracting. To understand this art form better, let’s look at the four basic sculpture techniques used.

Modeling – This additive process uses malleable materials that are built up into an armature or skeleton that has been shaped to create the desired form.

Casting – Another additive process, a melted material is poured into a mold to create a desired form.

Assembling – Also an additive process, assembling involves the gathering of materials or parts to assemble a product.

Carving – This is a subtractive process that requires chipping or cutting away of parts the source material, such as wood and stone, to create the desired form.

Materials for Sculpting

The techniques listed above use different sculpting tools and raw materials. For example, clay is the most popular medium for modeling, while an example of assembling is the practice of creating customized action figures.

If you want to try sculpting, you will need sculpting materials, sculpting tools, and armatures. There are a lot of materials to choose from, so the possibilities are endless. The list below only covers the basic items.

  • Wood
  • Marble
  • Granite
  • Any metal
  • Clay (oil-based, polymer, air-dry, homemade play dough, oven-bake, or porcelain)
  • Glass
  • Technical ceramics
  • Plastics

Sculpting Tools

All sculpting tools are divided into four functions, such as cutting, scraping, shaping or smoothing, and detailing. The type and size of tools will depend on the sculpture materials you will be working on.

For wood sculpting, you will need the following tools: chisels, U and V gouges, chip-carving knives, mallet, fish tail, parting tool, spoon and bent gouges, rotary tool, band saw, drill press, planer and joiner, belt sander, and burs and accessories.

For clay sculpting, you will need the following tools: silicone or rubber-tipped shaping tools, dental tools, knives, clay-cleaning tools, loop tools or mini ribbon, wooden modeling tools, rolling pin, clay extruding gun, rubber stamps, beads for texturing, and oven thermometer.

For stone sculpting, you will need the following tools: tooth chisel, point chisel, hammer, flat straight chisel, pneumatic tools, carving stones, and sharpening stones.

Creating Armatures

The armatures provide the skeleton or the foundation for your sculpture. Most sculptors prefer the aluminum wire for creating armatures, although others also use steel and wood. The aluminum wire or almaloy is valued for its pliability, non-staining, non-corrosive, and lightweight characteristics.

To create an armature made from almaloy, you will need the following items: a base for the armature made from plywood or other material, wire cutters, pliers, apoxie puttie, marker, and 1/8 and 1/16 aluminum armature wires.

Tips on How to Develop a Regular Reading Habit

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Reading can be a very worthwhile activity to spend your off-days and free time with. Setting aside the required book reports we have to submit for school, a good book can actually teach us in ways we could never fathom possible. It can offer us lifelong lessons along with a glimpse beyond our daily mundane lives. While we are swamped with paper works, we can always find a quick escape in reading.

However, reading can be a habit which is hard to get into — especially if you’re not that interested in the book you’re reading or if you are basically forcing yourself through it. The good news is: there are a number of ways to cultivate a regular reading habit. This article will present a few practical tips which can help you become a bibliophile.

1. Allot time in the day for reading
It is understandable how our tight schedule leaves us little to no room for recreational activities. But even if we are swamped with tasks, projects, and other commitments, spending as brief as 15 minutes each day for reading can already pave the way. It is ideal to put it in your schedule so you won’t forget. You can read even on the commute on your way to work, too.

2. Find your quiet, reading place
A quiet place can be very conducive for reading. Find a corner in your house where you can sit comfortably and enjoy reading without any interruptions. To minimize distractions, stay away from the television or computer. Keep distance from your noisy roommates or family members, as well. It is important that you find yourself comfortably in your reading place, hence if you can’t find one peaceful corner in your house then you may create one.

3. Create a reading list
If you don’t know where to start, it is best to conduct a little research on authors or genres you are interested in. Figuring out what you like will increase your chances at devoting time to read. Start by making a list filled with interesting books and short stories, but don’t pressure yourself as you work your way through it. Read at your own preferred pace.

4. Turn it into a pleasurable experience
Reading can turn to be your favorite time of the day especially if you turn it into something pleasurable. For one, you can always accompany yourself with tea or coffee while you read. You can also indulge on sweet treats. Envelope yourself with a blanket while reading to make the experience cozy. Or better yet, read while enjoying a quick stroll at the park or at the beach.

5. Minimize distractions
Sometimes, we are all too busy watching TV or browsing the internet to even read. While cutting back on these activities may seem hard to most people, doing so will give you more time for reading. You can even gain additional hours of reading time from refraining to do these distractions!