Practical Sculpture: A Workshop Manual

The late Sally Hersh was a stone sculptor originally know for portrait heads but later for other forms of sculpture and for her teaching career in France and the U.K.  Her book,  finished shortly before her death, was her reaction to seeing many “how to” books on sculpture that left large gaps in the processes of carving and modeling.

The first half of the book deals specifically with carving techniques, covering a multitude of studio techniques from basic to sophisticated. The second half of the book deals specifically with modeling portrait heads (and working with the casting process once the head is modeled).

Every stage of each process is delineated carefully, with copious illustrations, and tools are described in detail. Particularly helpful in the portrait section are the illustrations showing the person whose portrait is being made, alongside the measuring and modeling of the sculpture. The carving section also includes a helpful survey of the history of stone and stone sculpture.

Though technically Practical Sculpture is only available in the U.K., there are copies being sold by Marketplace sellers on Amazon, for a price roughly equivalent in dollars to the U.K. price in pounds.

—Glenn Harper

Book Description:
Practical Sculpture: A Workshop Manual
by Sally Hersh
London: Robert Hale Limited, 2011
192 pages, over 200 illustrations
£35 – ISBN: 978-0-7090-8836-3

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