Like clay, metal is used by sculptors to create works of art. The characteristics of the former differ greatly from that of the latter. In such ways that the techniques of sculpture of these two types of materials are very different.
Terracotta sculpture is made from clay. Modeling is the main technique for working with this type of material. Different processes must be followed so that the clay will hold well and not crack during firing. It is less risky to use a whole block, but it is possible to assemble two jars with slip. This is called collage. The artist also uses grog clay, which allows him to add a free style to his sculpture. Clay sculpture also needs armature, often exterior, which must be removed before the clay is fired. Once the sculpture is finished, it needs to be dried. This process takes a little more time.
Metal is a very difficult material to work with. Therefore, the artists who sculpt it are among the few in the sculpture world. Nevertheless, metal sculptures are very popular with art lovers. The techniques for sculpting metal are quite particular. They also vary depending on the type of metal to be worked. Contrary to what the novice may think, metal sculpture is cold forged. This requires significant mechanical strength and sturdy tools. To carve metal, the artist first proceeds to cut by profiling and cutting the steel sheets. Then, he begins the shaping of the material, still mechanically. He continues the work by assembling the pieces of metal using welding, but this can also be done with the hands depending on the inspiration of the artist. And finally, as in all sculptures, the artist proceeds to the finishing of his work.
These two forms of sculpture both have their specificity. On the other hand, we can see that in both, the use of the hands is very solicited by the artist. In clay sculpture, softness is required in the work of clay. While in metal work, the strength of the hands must be present to allow the artist to model the metal properly. In any case, clay sculptures are much more fragile than metal ones, whose hardness varies according to the type of metal used. The field of sculpture is one in which all types of materials can be used by artists to express their art.