We cooperate as an association to advance the practice of sculpture and the reputation and appreciation of sculpture and sculptors in the community. This is regardless of whether or not we make a living from sculpture and regardless of our preferred style or medium. To this end we support artists’ moral rights, we advocate a professional attitude to the production and presentation of work and encourage the artistic and intellectual stimulation of interaction amongst artists of all persuasions.

‘Unique or Edition’? that is the question

‘Unique or Edition’? that is the question… when I considered my entries to this years AAE 2017 they are, in fact, both. Without any doubt the work has been taken from a mould that I have used before (and will likely use again) but finished singularly in different materials and colours that it would be impossible to repeat even if I wanted to. Consequently both unique and an edition.
I also considered that while posting a version as ‘unique’ inflates its potential perceived value, despite the fact it could be misleading, would mean that I may miss out on further sales enquiries for a similar sculpture.

So iPad in hand I trolled through ‘Google’ to see what the world thinks, I found this definition on a gallery site called Picasso Mio 

Sculpture may be created in a variety of media, but in all cases, it will fall into one of two categories: unique or multiple. Unique or one-of-a-kind sculptures are generally created with materials such as stone, wood, mixed media, or metals. On the other hand, bronze sculptures are generally multiples, typically cast in editions with each casting considered an original work of art.

How is it possible to have more than one original within a series? First the artist creates an original model in clay, plaster or wax, from which series of negative and positive moulds are taken. The sculpture is then cast from the final mould. What makes each work original is the finishing process that comes after the casting.

Further, I am advised that some galleries are using a phrase for sculpture work that is taken from the world of limited edition prints, essentially drawing parallels from the multiple production used in both activities, and the subsequent ability to individualise work in its post production process. The phrase is ‘Unique state’: In printmaking, a state is a different form of a print, caused by a deliberate and permanent change to a matrix such as a copper plate (for engravings etc.) or woodblock (for woodcut).

Artists often take prints from a plate (or block, etc.) and then do further work on the plate before printing more impressions (copies). 

Typically the title of the piece is followed by the edition number then the phrase unique state e.g. a hand painted Statue of Liberty would be Statue of Liberty, 3 of 5, unique state.

This is certainly a much closer description of my work it doesn’t mislead the purchaser, It provides a clear picture that they are getting, a replicated item that has ‘one of a kind’ unique quality. Food for thought? I’d be interested in any feedback.

Trevor Carter.

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