Two Main Types of Metals used in Sculpting

by Edwin
custom sculpture

The word metal refers to any kind of substance with high electrical and thermal conductivity. Metals are also very malleable, ductile, and they have high reflectivity of light. Almost three-quarters of chemical elements like aluminum, iron, calcium, bronze, and others can be referred to as metals. Metal sculptures are, therefore, any sculpture that is made from a crystalline chemical element. However, not all kinds of metal can be used to make sculptures. The most common types of metals used to make sculptures are;

1. Iron

Of all the types of metals in existence, iron is the most abundant. The reason is that it can be found in almost all elements, including water, soil, and rocks. For this reason, it is among the oldest types of metals used in Sculpting. Ancient iron sculptures can be found in plenty in Egypt, Roman Britain, and Ancient China. There are different types of iron, depending on the amount of carbon. For instance;

  • Cast Iron- This type of iron contains the right quantity of carbon. The carbon is responsible for its brittleness. It is cost-efficient and quite durable. It, however, cracks easily if it ix exposed to a lot of pressure. It is also very coarse and cannot be subjected to bending or stretching.
  • Wrought Iron- this type of iron contains a lower amount of carbon than the latter. It is also softer and can be rolled into plates, hammered into bars, and drawn into wires more easily. It is also very malleable hence can be bent. Wrought iron sculptures usually are painted over with brass.

The main benefit of iron is that it is easy to acquire and its cheap. However, more artists and sculpture suppliers are walking away from iron sculpting because iron is quite prone to rust. For this reason, more people are moving towards modern types of irons. The types of iron currently used to make sculptures include;

  • Stainless steel- this type of iron is an alloy of chromium. The chromium helps to keep it from rusting and retain its luster. It is currently the most common type of iron used to make sculpture products because it is durable. Stainless steel sculptures are also famous because they are quite attractive.

2. Bronze

Bronze is made from a combination of melted tin and copper. It is one of the most common types of sculpting material. Bronze is widely used because it is very durable. The factors that contribute to its durability include its resistance to corrosion and rust. The downside to bronze sculpting is that it is quite costly. However, the pros beat the cons by far.

Other types of metal that can be used in Sculpting are;

  • Silver
  • Aluminum
  • Copper
  • Brass
  • Lead
  • And gold


Iron sculptures can be manufactured using a variety of methods. One method is casting. Casting is where the metal is melted then poured into molds. The metals can also be squeezed under extreme pressures into dies, as is the case in the coin making process. Other metal sculptures are made by hammering, cutting, or welding, among other methods of working on them directly.

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