The first step is of course to select a block of stone suitable for the projected work. The stone is first rough-hewn with a chisel (pick, flat or toothed) and hammer. This initial stage combines an intense expenditure of energy with a soft and supple touch. The detailed work which follows is effected slowly and patiently with flat chisels, rasps and files, as the artist’s vision takes shape. To avoid minor or major catastrophes, stone must never be forced.
Finally, polishing is done by hand with sandpaper of various grits and with power grinders. If considered appropriate, surfaces can be polished to a bright sheen.
An art form typical of the 20th century, metal sculpture consists in assembling, usually by welding with a blowtorch, pieces of metal (steel, copper, others) – either ones fashioned by the artist himself or recyclable second-hand pieces. In the latter case, they may be used in their original condition or modified.
The intense heat generated by a blowtorch may deform or warp the various pieces or parts of the sculpture. Depending on the artist’s experience and intentions, extraordinarily expressive tensions can result from this process which may or may not suit the artist and/or the viewer.
As with other compounds devised by the chemical industry, polyester resins and polymers have come to play a major role first in aircraft and naval construction then in the automobile and construction industries and even in medicine. Their migration into the art world has brought to light some of their unexpected qualities.
Lise Bonnef is an artist who applies glass fabric and polyester resin, colored and shaped to match her vision, to a metal frame shaped into the form she chooses. The use of these materials results in unusually lightweight sculptures, an obvious advantage for monumental works.