Granite Lanterns

Written by Patty Yu
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Granite lanterns, benches, and fountains are just a few examples of weatherproof outdoor decor people use to enhance their gardens. Often chosen for its beautiful crystalline texture, granite is also one of the hardest types of stone, making it difficult to chip or break. Bronze sculptures are also a popular choice for outdoor art, since bronze is virtually indestructible unless it is melted down.

You will rarely see granite sculptures made in the form of people, animals, or other detailed statues. Instead, it is used more for simple but beautifully shaped granite lanterns, fountains, pillars, or benches. Bronze, on the other hand, often depicts extremely detailed subjects or scenes. On a bronze statue, you can see ripples in a shirt, wrinkles on a face, and hair blowing in the wind.

Granite versus Bronze

Due to the stone's very hard quality, carving details into granite is nearly impossible. Sculptors must use slightly blunt chisels to crack and cut away chunks of the rock. Machinery with diamond blades is also used to cut the stone into a desired shape. Granite lanterns, fountains and benches all have straighter lines and smoother surfaces, making them perfect subjects for granite sculptors.

Bronze sculptures can be very detailed because they are made using molds and molten bronze. An artist first sculpts the subject out of clay, then a mold is made, then another model, and then a final mold. These steps ensure the final mold exhibits all the details desired in the final bronze piece. Molten bronze is poured inside and once cooled and polished, becomes a beautiful sculpture.

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