Home Decorating: The Cachet of Sculpture

by DLSproule

Our homes are personal statements about ourselves.

Some people like to fill their homes with nothing but photographs of family. I even know people who have nothing but photos of themselves. Other people enjoy unpretentious, folksy, funny touches with teddy bears and signs reminding you to aim when you pee. Some people have original paintings and prints while many less fiscally-endowed folks have furniture-store-reproduction-style-landscapes that are mostly used to break the tedium of bare walls.

If someone enters your home for the first time and sees a stone sculpture nicely displayed and properly lit on a pedestal beside the hall closet, what does it say about you?

Someone who likes stone sculpture is someone who likes real art. Even if an individual sculpture isn’t that expensive, they seem like they are. There is a cachet about stone sculpture that suggests wealth, so visitors to your home may assume you are patrons of the arts. A medium sized sculpture seems somehow more significant than a medium sized painting, if for no other reason than sheer physical presence.

Actually, there are lots of additional reasons it seems like it should be expensive.

Most stone sculpture is unique – including sculptures of standard things like bears, eagles and whales. Whatever it is, you know it took some time to produce. Chipping stone is not a very efficient or reliable production line activity. Limestone, soapstone, granite and marble each have distinctive looks and feels. Reproduction sculpture is usually made of either plaster or bronze. Even without the originality, colour or depth of real sculpture, plaster reproductions still have an impressive presence. Bronze is rich and gorgeous but the larger works are only affordable to the one per cent. If you are in the one per cent, I’d like to point out that all of our sculptures are for sale and all of them put together would cost less than a small car and a sculpture in every room is definitely a trend you should start. Ahem…

Stone sculpture – as opposed to bronze – generally ranges in price from 200 to 200,000 dollars – with most sculptors working on the less expensive end of that scale. You can find stunning sculptures for a few hundred or few thousand dollars, most people don’t know that – at least not instinctively.

One of the coolest things about stone sculpture is the universality. All kinds of different people find it intriguing. Like a seashell or a polished stone, there is natural beauty in the stone’s pattern and colour. As solid and as a much a part of your personal landscape as a marble countertop or a hardwood floor, a piece of sculpture can make you feel grounded and connected to the earth.

Like hardwood floors, sculptures look good in any surroundings. Doesn’t matter if your walls are pink or mustard yellow, off-white or wood paneled – the sculpture will work, as long as it’s properly displayed. You have a lot of options: it can go beside a wall, infront of a mirror or even in the middle of a room.

Larger pieces are perfect to display outdoors (a treestump or sidewalk stone can make a good pedestal for outdoor sculture), and you know nobody’s going to walk off with it. Proper indoor display can range from putting it in a sunny spot on the fireplace mantle or on an end table under a lamp to displaying it on a custom pedestal with dramatic spot lighting.

A nice pedestal is like a nice frame for a painting – it can make a small piece seem more significant and make a simple piece seem bold and dramatic.

There are some downsides to owning sculpture. Pieces over 300 pounds can be a bitch to install or move. Unlike a flashy piece of neon installation art, a statue may seem more conservative than trendy. Unlike radical/protest art it probably won’t stir up passionate or violent emotions. If it does, you may be in real trouble if someone decides to throw your sculpture. I imagine it would be a bit like shot put, only heavier and more awkward. Hmm, or maybe less like short put than really energetic, out-of-control weightlifting.

But rather than waste time debating techniques for sculpture tossing, I want you to close your eyes and envision how swanky a sculpture would look in your living rooms.

When you open them again, the first thing you will do is realize how much you need to buy a sculpture. Like real estate, you’ll get a lot more respect if you offer more than the asking price.