A maquette refers to a small mock-up of a three-dimensional sculpture or architectural project. The word is French for "scale model."
Often times a full scale sculpture begins with a maquette. This provides an idea for how the full scale piece will look and come together. Both the artist and the viewer benefit from being able to modify a design and creation techniques based on desired looks and location. Although a sculpture in itself, many maquettes evolve into a full size sculptures.