The sequence of images outlines how I go about making a bronze sculpture. It is a long process to make a bronze sculpture., which takes several distinct steps.
Firstly the hardest part is having an idea of what to sculpt. Invariably some way down the line I find out that it has already been done. It is virtually impossible to do something completely original, but we all do even the same thing slightly differently, so as long as I dont plagiarize then Im happy.
I was going to use the jacket sculpture as an example, but kept forgetting to take photos at appropriate times. I managed to take a few images, so heres how it was done.
I modeled the jacket in clay which took about 20 hours to complete.
When it was fully dry, the model was coated with a water repellant shellac, and a plaster mold was taken. The mold was a five piece mold and took about 8 hours to make.
Next the mold was used to produce a wax model, which was tidied up and buckles, which were not modeled in clay were added. Then sprues, vents and a pouring cup were added. Another 6 hours.
The ceramic shell was then made, by dipping the wax model into a tank of slurry, followed by a coating of sand. Five coats of shell were added then the whole thing is bound with wire to add strength. After this another five coats of shell were added. All this took about 12 hours.
Once the shell is completed it is trimmed to make sure that the wax can be melted and drained out of the mold. This process takes about an hour, and the shells are just about ready to have bronze poured into them.
The bronze is melted in a furnace and poured into the shells which are removed from the kiln when they are at about 1600 F. They have to be hot so that the bronze doesnt solidify too quickly and has time to fill the mold. The hot shells are bedded into sand to keep them hot during the pour. It takes at least 3 people 3 hours to do the pour.
Once the bronze has cooled the shell can be removed, using a hammer and chisel. For this bronze it took about 4 hours.. Then all that remains is the chasing and applying the patina. Probably another 8 hours.
The whole process thus takes about 68 man hours work.