What is pointing up?

Pointing up is the old method of enlarging a sculpture. In this method, the artist takes a measurement, or point, from the maquette and multiplies that measurement by how many times they want the enlargement to be. Then, as they sculpt the new larger piece they use that measurement as a reference to define that point on the enlargement, trying to keep the size, shape and proportion correct.

Artists have devised all kinds of contraptions, or pointing machines, over the ages to aid them in this process. These include simple calipers to complex structures built around the sculpture utilizing rods to measure from one fixed point to another. They were time consuming and only as accurate as time, diligence and energy would allow.

Today, because of amazing advances in technology, a maquette or finished sculpture can be scanned to capture millions and millions of points on the sculpture, defining every minute surface detail three dimensionally. With digital data the scaling process is exact, preserving perfect proportion and detail. Combine highly detailed digital data with computer controlled multi-axis milling machines that can hold tolerances of a few thousands of an inch and you have a recipe for achieving accurate results in a fraction of time.