ABOUT THE BRONZE PROCESS
To have the sculpture cast in bronze I work with a bronze foundry - MC3 Foundry in Torrance. The lost wax casting process of making a bronze sculpture has essentially remained the same for thousands of years.
I first build the sculpture out of clay. Then a latex & plaster mold is made around the clay form. The clay form is removed, the latex & plaster mold closed back up, and wax is poured in, to create a shell of wax. The latex & plaster mold is reopened, and a red wax version of the form is pulled out.
The next step is for this wax to be coated with layers of ceramic material. It is then fired in a kiln, which hardens the shell and makes the wax melt away. Left is a new shell. Melted bronze is poured into this shell.
Once cooled down the shell is removed by chiseling into the hardened bronze. At this stage the bronze looks like a new penny.
The color which is often thought of as bronze itself is actually a patina (color) that is added to it. It is essentially burned into the bronze by heating up the surface with a torch and spraying on various layers of pigmented patina. A lot of other colors can be done besides the traditional dark brown. This part I love to do - watch out - me with a torch in my hand!
As a matter of fact, if ever you are purchasing a bronze sculpture, or commissioning me to do one, I would welcome you to come along for a visit to the foundry.
Because of the resiliency of the material, and the pigment being burnt into the bronze, bronze can easily be used outdoor as well.