Starbuck Designers, Inc.
The Art of Sculpture

As we enjoy, collect, and display art, we should not be limited to only walls. Sculpture can be an important medium in providing distinction and sophistication in our interiors. What art medium is more enduring and lasting than a three-dimensional artful creation made of stone, wood, or metal?

In today's often homogenized, mass-produced living spaces, the art and accessories of a room are often the defining elements which provide uniqueness and characterize the personal style of the owner. Sculptural elements provide an additional layer of interest and beauty within the decorative framework of a space. A sculpture can punctuate an elegant focal point in a main area of a room or provide an accent. Architectural elements (recessed niches as an example) provide special opportunities to implement sculpture. Decorative pieces can be used on top of furniture as special accessories, And they may be placed on top of pedestals to add to the scale and importance. Smaller scaled items may be artfully grouped with other accessories on tables, mantles, and bookcases.

Sculpture, like other mediums of art, may vary between exceptionally realistic or totally abstract in concept. It can be whimsical or elegant in terms of materials. The juxtaposition between these various themes adds excitement and vitality to the mix of interior furnishings and fixtures. One of my favorite clients has numerous sculptures which have been incorporated in their family home using more whimsical folk pieces within the less formal sunroom, family room, and kitchen...while an elegantly formal marble abstract carving on a stand provides a main focal point in the dining room. Custom commissioned bronze figures created in the images of their two children have special places forever capturing that magical time of childhood. Here, elegant materials and realistic subjects flow together with contemporary art, adding the wonderful addition of interest and charm to the home.

Certain rooms, given their function, are perfect places to include sculptural elements. Bathrooms, sunrooms, and other rooms which can experience more extreme humidity and temperature changes, are perfect spots to use sculptural elements. The materials used in these art forms are usually impervious to these conditions and provide the perfect opportunity to add art in spaces where other mediums could be damaged over time.

For centuries, we have relied on special sculptural features to provide focal points and centerpieces for exterior "rooms" and gardens. Traditional and contemporary pieces of bronze, stainless steel, terra cotta, marble, limestone, or granite have been appreciated and cherished for centuries. Today, we continue rediscovering the joys of special artistic pieces rendered in these precious and often permanent materials as jewels in the setting for our living interior and exterior environments.

©2013 John D. Starbuck, Jr.

[Reprinted from Nashville Arts Magazine.]