Art Encyclopedia - Armature
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The armature is the internal support of modelled sculpture usually made out of wood or metal. An armature is a framework around which the sculpture is built. This framework provides structure and stability, especially when a plastic material such as wax or clay is being used as the medium.
When the human figure is sculpted the armature acts as the skeleton of the figure and has same purpose of keeping the figure stable and erect.
Alluminium is popularly used for the armature because it can twist and bend into shape despite being a stiff material. The wire is affixed to a base which is usually made of wood and the artist begins fleshing out the sculpture by adding wax or clay over the wire. Depending on the material and technique, the armature may be left buried within the sculpture but, if the sculpture is to be hollowed out for firing, it must be removed.