Unique Materials to Use for Your Next Sculpture

If you’re an artist looking to make your next sculpture out of something truly unique, you’re in luck. Sculptures can be crafted from almost any material on earth. Consider the following four materials in your next project:


Rubber has been used in sculpture and photography since its discovery. It can easily be molded into complex shapes and yet is durable and waterproof. In addition, it won’t shatter when struck by a hammer, making it an ideal material to use in outdoor sculptures or if you want a playful piece that is still safe enough for kids. When working with rubber, try using latex gloves—the more porous nature of rubber makes it difficult to work with bare hands.

Scrap Metal

Whether you’re working on a piece of sculpture or a large-scale installation, scrap metal is an excellent material to use. Unlike wood, which can warp and twist over time, recycled metal stands up well against rust and other weathering elements. Moreover, working with metal allows you to play with different styles and finishes. For example, if you’re planning on using metal in your next sculpture project, try mixing different metals to create a two-toned design. This subtle design element will give your project depth and an added level of complexity.


Fabric is another medium that makes for beautiful sculptural work. Whether you use old clothing or drape fabric over chicken wire, this medium is an excellent unconventional choice for an art piece. Consider sourcing your material from your closet or choosing fabric from your local craft store. Likewise, you may even want to make your fabric by hand with recycled products.


Most people associate cork with wine stoppers and bulletin boards, but it’s a popular medium in modern sculpture. Like wood, it’s organic, giving artists a way to work with shapes and textures not typically found in their mediums of choice. Cork can also be shaped while wet or dry and can also be painted. If you’re having trouble sourcing this material, visit your favorite bars and wineries to stock up on extra cork. Alternatively, home improvement stores carry this material as well.

Finding the right products to use in your next sculpture can be a challenging task, especially if you’re working with new materials for the first time. Keep these four unique materials in mind as you plan your next sculpture.