The Collas Machine
Invented in 1836 by French engineer Achille Collas, this machine uses a pantograph system to make proportionately larger or smaller duplications of a sculpture. The concept can be traced to ancient Greek and Roman artists, who wanted to reproduce the perfect proportions of the human figure in their sculpture. Their method was called pointing, which meant that measurements of the desired figure were taken, then proportionally increased or decreased on a model. Collas machines often look like lathes. On one turntable sits the plaster model. On a second turntable, connected to the first, sits a clay or plaster "blank" that has been roughly shaped to resemble the model but on a larger or smaller scale.