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Although there are a number of architectural and design styles differentiating mausoleums, designers add a little more pizzazz with architectural embellishments and statuary. The statuary can be inside or outside the mausoleum and, unlike mausoleums where granite is the preferred medium, statuary has a wide range of options.

Durable materials such as granite, marble, and bronze all have their attributes for mausoleum design and embellishment. Each material has its own intrinsic appeal, but the choice of material is essentially a matter of personal taste.

Marble, of course, has been long associated with classical ideals. Its inherent translucency exudes a depth not attainable with granite or bronze. It is also softer than granite or bronze and is easier to work with, especially when trying to simulate smooth human skin. But its softness is also a magnet for stains and the ravages of acid rain.

Granite is the choice for long-lasting durability and constancy, but it is much more difficult to work especially when fine detail is desired. Nevertheless, its relative imperviousness to the elements makes it a good choice for outdoor sculpture.

Bronze is a compromise between granite and marble. Since the sculpture is often crafted in “lost wax” (oiled clay) before it is cast, there is ample opportunity to add delicate details and to change the sculpture before it is finally cast. Modern casting techniques render bronze much less susceptible to the common green patina that develops after years of exposure to the elements. Depending on the casting method used, bronze is more reproducible than granite or marble, which potentially makes the cost lower.

Whether the final choice is marble, granite, or bronze, mausoleum designers work closely with sculptors to insure the mausoleum and sculpture are executed in a harmonious blend.

Text and copy © Douglas Keister Visit Doug’s Author Page

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