The bronze goes through ten or more stages before completion of the painstaking lost wax process, all under the strict quality control of the artist.
Foundry Cast Bronze ProcedureThe artist starts with a medium of plastiline clay, terra cotta or a modeling wax. He must collect many photo references of all angles and develop small clay sketches. This leads to the full scale three dimensional clay model. When possible the actual subject is then brought to the studio for refining the fine details. A 20 inch sculpture can take up to a year of modeling.
(Lost Wax Process)
A negative mold is made of the model so that a positive plaster casting can be made. This is then carved and sanded to achieve fine finished details. The model is then sent to the foundry where another mold is made in which the wax casting is molded. At this time the artist comes to examine and touch up the wax cast.
The artist approved wax cast is then coated with a ceramic slip which is high fired to form the shell mold and the removal of the wax. Thus creating the negative cavity to receive the molten bronze. Hence 'the lost wax procedure'. The molten bronze is then poured into the shell mold which is supported in a bed of sand.
Once cast and cooled the ceramic shell is chipped off and the model is sand blasted to remove the residue. It is then cleaned in an acid bath.
The artist now begins chasing (grinding and filing) or welding to remove seams, and imperfections. This is the preparation for the heat treated patina to create a rich aged effect. Finally mounted on a pedestal the model is hand polished with wax to preserve the finish.
As a result of this process the cast bronze specialty items take time. They are not mass produced. Each is hand finished. Please be prepared to wait 12 or more weeks for foundry cast bronze pieces.
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