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About Bronzes


The lost wax method of Bronze Casting -- for the curious

Art Bronzes are produced by means of the lost wax method, a process that has been around for centuries although now much refined by modern technology.
First, from a mold made from the original a wax casting is made and prepared. This wax is then dipped in a plaster like material and allowed to dry. This process is repeated several times until a shell is built up around the wax. This shell is dried slowly and carefully over several days so as to avoid cracking, after which it is placed in an autoclave where heat and steam melt out the wax. The shell is next put into an oven, which burns out any remnant of wax and preheats it. Molten bronze is then poured into the hollow shell at almost 2000 degrees centigrade.

When the bronze is fully cooled the shell is chipped off very carefully to avoid damaging the bronze. The casting that emerges is quite rough. Projecting from it
are thick filler pipes or sprues through which the bronze entered the casting. These are removed by saw, and the whole surface of the bronze is finished with abrasives or “chased” to the desired surface.

Sometimes the piece is worked up to a bright polish, at other times it is patined by treating it with chemicals and usually a blow torch which produces a variety of beautiful finishes. To complete the whole process usually takes from ten to fifteen days.

So Why Bronzes?

It is the large amount of labor involved in the production that accounts for the high price of bronzes. So why bronze when a similar piece can be made for a fraction of the cost in Pellucida™? Mostly bronze is more beautiful but sometimes, quite honestly, I feel that the lightness and translucency of Pellucida™ is more appropriate for some pieces. But of course what makes bronze so desirable is its durability. Whether as heirlooms or antiques they always are valued.  They get handed down, auctioned, bought and sold, donated -- one way or another they go on forever.

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