Athar Jaber

SCULPTURE MANUALS

Here below a list of books that I strongly recommend if you want to improve your sculpting insight and skills.

Leon Battista Alberti On Sculpture (1472)

This translation of Leon Battista Alberti’s treatise on the art of sculpting is presented as the author himself intended – as a practical sculpture manual meant to be read and utilized by practitioners of the craft. In recent times On Sculpture has been published and critiqued as an historical and literary document; Jason Arkles’ translation instead offers commentary helpful for understanding the actual content of the work and its relation to contemporary studio practice. Additional illustrations and diagrams are included, detailing the construction and use of the ‘diffinitore’, Alberti’s device for measuring the model that is the grandfather of all pointing machines in use today.

E. Roscoe Mullins
A Primer of Sculpture (1989)

“Instruction and appreciation become one in this book.” — School Arts
Sculpture: Principles and Practice
 is one of the most authoritative and comprehensive books on the creation of sculpture. Unlike other instructional guides by people who have never had their fingers wet with clay, this book is the accumulation of many years of practical knowledge and experience by a noted American sculptor and art instructor.
Mr. Slobodkin starts with the very basics of the art and leaves no area uncovered. He advises the novice what type of material is best to work with, and in a step-by-step process shows how to begin with elementary forms and proceed to the more complex, used for creating human figures, portrait heads, bas reliefs, and other forms of sculpture. Helpful instruction and diagrams of the proper procedure for constructing armatures and the proper methods for the use of tools are passed on to the reader along the way.

Edouard Lanteri
Modelling and Sculpting the Human Figure (1902)

Is there art after modernism? Many of today’s art students and professionals are finding the answer — “yes” — lies in the long-neglected field of figurative sculpture, a demanding form of expression that requires extremely rigorous technical training. Most modern schools, however, are simply not equipped to provide the necessary technical background. The republication of this highly valuable text by Edouard Lanteri, renowned teacher, sculptor, and intimate friend of Rodin (Rodin called him “my dear master, my dear friend”), makes it possible for serious students to gain the requisite skills and bridge the gap between artistic concept and figurative realization. Representing at least three thousand years of studio lore, this readily understandable, authoritative guide is a goldmine of technical information, easily comprising a four-year sculpture curriculum unavailable elsewhere.

Adolfo Wildt
L' Arte del Marmo (1921)

In 1921, while the whole of Europe re-discusses the principles of modern art and gives life to the expressive season that will be called “Return to order”, Adolfo Wildt publishes one of the most significant texts of the moment: a paper on the art of working the marble. It is not a treatise on sculpture, but on matter: that “living, sonorous and splendid” material that he had loved since he was a boy.

Albert Toft
Modelling and Sculpture
A Guide to Traditional Methods (1924)

A student of the great Edouard Lanteri and a celebrated sculptor in his own right, Albert Toft created this manual to offer students every practical detail necessary for a complete knowledge of modeling and sculpture. Both professionals and amateurs will find Toft’s experienced guidance a valuable help in surmounting difficulties and avoiding errors. 

1929 - Frederick J. Glass

F. J. Glass
Modelling and Sculpture
An introduction to Style and Sculpture (1929)

A clear, practical introduction to sculpture, filled with instructions and ideas for projects that will guide and inspire students and teachers alike. Originally published in 1929, this remastered edition draws upon the author’s twenty years of teaching experience. Illustrated examples demonstrate working techniques for clay, plaster, stone and bronze, whilst the history of sculpture is introduced through a range of masterpieces reaching back to classical times. From delicate natural forms to the challenges of the human figure, Modelling and Sculpture will help your most creative ideas take shape.

Sargeant Jagger
Modelling and Sculpture in the Making (1933)

1939 - Brenda Putnam

Brenda Putnam
The Sculptor's way
A guide to Modelling and Sculpting (1939)

A treasury of all the information a student of sculpture needs in the early stages of training: modelling from life, human and comparative anatomy, modelling and casting a portrait head, drapery, ceramic sculpture, stone and marble carving, wood carving, and bronze casting. 210 halftones. 124 line drawings.

Malvina Hoffman
Sculpture Inside and Out (1939)

A published, definite work on historical and technical aspects of sculpture.

Suzanne Silvercruys
A Primer of Sculpture (1942)

1947 - Rich

Jack C. Rich
The Materials and Methods of Sculpture (1947)

Before the publication of this book there was a dearth of competent instructional books on the technical aspects of sculpture. Mr. Rich, a noted sculptor, remedied that need with this clear, comprehensive and precise guide to every aspect of sculpting in wax, plaster, metal, stone, wood, and other materials. Contending that “a knowledge of materials is the foundation upon which real achievement is based,” Mr. Rich presents a comprehensive treatment of the origins, nature, properties, and characteristics of various sculpting materials and the methods employed in their use.

1947 - Zorach

William Zorach
Zorach Explains Sculpture (1947)

As noted American sculptor William Zorach explains in this practical and inspirational guide, sculpture is a language, as are music and the spoken word. It is one of the great natural means of human expression. In teaching students to explore this valuable medium, he offers lucid, insightful coverage of such topics as form in art, proportions, anatomy, rhythm, design, and other essentials.
Students will also find a wealth of practical guidance for building a figure in clay, casting in plaster and stone, wood carving and wood sculpture, stone carving and sculpture, handling stone, and more.

Louis Slobodkin
Sculpture, Principles and Practice (1949)

Sculpture: Principles and Practice is one of the most authoritative and comprehensive books on the creation of sculpture. Unlike other instructional guides by people who have never had their fingers wet with clay, this book is the accumulation of many years of practical knowledge and experience by a noted American sculptor and art instructor.
Mr. Slobodkin starts with the very basics of the art and leaves no area uncovered. He advises the novice what type of material is best to work with, and in a step-by-step process shows how to begin with elementary forms and proceed to the more complex, used for creating human figures, portrait heads, bas reliefs, and other forms of sculpture. Helpful instruction and diagrams of the proper procedure for constructing armatures and the proper methods for the use of tools are passed on to the reader along the way.

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