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To have the sculpture cast in bronze I work with a bronze foundry, MC3 Foundry in Torrance, California. The lost wax casting process of making a bronze sculpture has essentially remained the same for thousands of years.
I first create the sculpture out of clay.
Then latex, and plaster molds are made around the shape of the clay. The clay is removed and latex and plaster molds closed back up. Wax is poured into the latex mold, and once hardened it has created the same form as the clay, but now made in (red) wax.
At this point small corrections and adjustments can be made in the wax shape if needed.
The wax then gets coated with layers of a ceramic sandy silica material that stick to the wax. Once dry, the ceramic shell mold (encasing the wax) is fired in the kiln, melting the wax away and leaving the mold hallow.
Next, 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 coin.
The color which is often thought of as bronze itself is actually a patina (color) that is added. The patina is burned into the bronze by heating up the surface with a torch and spraying on the various layers of pigmented chemicals, creating depth to the color. A lot of other colors can be added 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 commissioning me for a bronze sculpture, I welcome you to come along for a visit to the foundry to experience first-hand the fascinating process of bronze making.
Consider a sculpture for either indoor or outdoor. Because of the resiliency of the material, and the pigment being burned into the bronze, bronze can easily be used outdoor as well.
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