From conception to the final bronze sculpture - The lost wax casting process

Bronze sculpture – a fiery miracle

The bronze casting process never ceases to excite me! The transformation of my wax or clay sculpture into a beautiful bronze is a fiery miracle. In this part of my website I would like to share with you this amazing process.

Bronze casting was first used some 5000 years ago, and it has essentially not altered since then – although we now have more refined materials on hand like silicon rubber for detail-catching moulds.

I myself do not cast my sculptures but send my wax or plasticene artwork to the foundry. The process, as you will see, is complex and requires skills with many different materials. I make the originals, and then finish the work on each cast sculpture with the patination (colour, using chemicals) and polish.

In addition, I hope to bring you, the buyer/viewer, closer to an understanding of the true value of a bronze, not only because the artist’s skills required must be studied, accumulated and practised, but because of the length and complexity of the bronze casting process itself and the skills required for this.

1: Research

Research at the zoo Research at the zoo

It is essential that I find appropriate and good reference for any new sculpture I undertake to do. This is often a combination of photographing, viewing from life, drawing and watching videos of the chosen subject. This is so I can essentially "feel" my way into what I choose to sculpt before starting. Good quality photographs are essential for me to see details of the subject I am creating.

Foundries

I cast my bronzes at The Goodwin Foundry,  the Sculpture Casting Services (SCS), and The falconer Foundry (they run Artist Residency programs as well).
I am fortunate to have all 3 of these foundries down the road from where I live in the KwaZulu Natal Midlands, South Africa.

Contact Kim Goodwin for more information on his foundry:
| 082 856 1106

Contact Deon Jagaroo for more information about his foundry (there is a Capetown Branch as well):
http://www.sculpturecasting.co.za/ | | 083 437 7440

Contact Seth Falconer for more information on his foundry and Artist Residency programs.
http://www.thefalconerfoundry.com/ | | 060 621 7346

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