The sculpture creation process: Designs, models & multiples
Making a sculpture can involve several stages, from the first idea to the finished work. Sculptors often expressed their initial ideas in drawings or sketch models, and then made more finished drawings and models for their patrons' approval. To work up large-scale sculptures from smaller models they used the 'pointing' method. The final result was then polished and often painted.
From the 13th century up to the 18th, the work of sculptors and other artists and craftsmen was regulated by the guilds. Sculptors learned their skills through apprenticeship to a master and member of the guild. Later, from the 1650s onwards, academies were established to provide theoretical and practical training.
The designs of some of the most inventive sculptors were copied and adapted by other artists and craftsmen. This helped to disseminate artistic ideas across Europe.