The sculpture begins with the clay model that the artist creates. Most sculptors use an oil-based modeling
clay that does not harden. This allows them to work on the sculpture for as long as they want, and the clay will show all the detail they want to put into
Depending on its shape and size, the maquette may have a wire or wooden armature inside it that acts as a skeleton to support the clay.
The maquette is the first "positive," or normally-shaped, version of the sculputure during the casting process.
Some sculptures are designed to be cast at a size larger than the original model, requiring additional steps to scale the model. This sculpture
by Gerry Balciar, called "Little Bear," will be cast at the same size as the original maquette. So all the further molds will be direct copies
of the original.