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Wax Process

I always get this question: “How do you make your bronze sculptures?”

Like all other sculptors, I produce my bronzes through an elaborate, costly process know as the “lost wax process,” which was discovered some 3,000 years ago in Greece and hasn’t changed much since. Even simplified, it sounds complicated: Are you ready?

It basically consists of a series of back-and-forth steps between positive and negative impressions of the work, from the original clay to the final bronze:

1. First, I produce the original work, in oil-based clay or sculpting wax.

2. I then make a rubber mold (a negative impression) of the finished piece, by brushing several coats of a rubber solution on it.

3. I open the mold, (negative,) and pour a hot, liquid wax in it.

4. The wax cools; I open the mold and extract the wax, which is now a positive again and looks just like the original.

5. At the foundry, The wax is then dipped in a silica-plaster solution a number of times. When that solution has dried and solidified it becomes a negative again (enveloping the positive wax.)

6. The whole thing is then inserted into a furnace; the wax disintegrates and is “lost”, leaving only the silica-plaster negative, which becomes an empty shell ready to receive molten metal.

7. At very high temperatures, the bronze is then poured into the silica plaster shell.

8. The bronze cools down, the exterior shell is broken and sandblasted off, leaving the bronze, which is now a positive again and looks exactly like the original finished clay.

9. After welding, finishing, and polishing imperfections in the metal, a patina is added to the bronze (for color and mood) and VOILA! the work is done.

Bronzes   Ceramics   Mosaics   Paintings   Studies   Wax Process