The Bronze Process Overview
OVERVIEW | MODELING | MOLD MAKING | WAX CASTING | WAX CHASING | CERAMIC SHELL | POURING BRONZE | CHASING | PATINA
Bronze - The word denotes a place in time where mankind crossed a line into modern civilization. Around 2500 BC humanity used fire in the ultimate of promethium quests - to create. The creation of bronze, an alloy of copper and tin often with a small amount of lead, changed the landscape of humanity.
The metal was first used for making tools and weapons. It soon became valued for its aesthetic beauty and a myriad of different objects from bowls to sculpture were being either cast or hammered from sheets of bronze. Because it could be remelted it was also viewed by many early traders as a commodity thus the precious bronze images revered by their kings were often among the booty of warring armies, carried off and melted down for some other use. This is why so few early bronze sculptures exist today. Even the bronze "David" cast in Michelangelo's time was melted down for cannons.
The transformation of bronze into the beautiful sculptures that we see in museums or galleries is the craft of the the founder. This skill and knowledge has long been revered. Today it still holds fascination for the general public. The moment of pulling the crucible then pouring its gleaming hot liquid is surrounded by a mystical aura. Most sculptors do not mold or cast their own work but are involved at certain key points along the way. Thanks to the new technology of the past 30 years there is a renaissance of bronze casting in our day. Still the long process remains essentially the same in it's steps - each one demanding care for detail from the beginning to end. It is a matter of months to take an original sculpture through the full process of a final bronze casting.
All these factors - the history, the process, the great benefits of the medium are why so many sculptors turn to bronze and why it is so cherished by collectors.