Ice Fisherman Base 10" x 13" x 13" H
This bronze shown is hot cast bronze in the traditional "Lost Wax" method. An original maquette (model) is made essentially of clay, but some features are made of wax, wood or even metal depending on the situation. The foundry will create a mold (negative) and a wax (positive) will be made from the mold. The wax is then dipped in liquid ceramic until a roughly 3/8" layer covers it. After the ceramic has dried the wax is either burned out or forced out using an autoclave, thereby the term lost wax. The ceramic is then fired at 1800º and while still hot liquid bronze heated to a molten 2050º is poured in and left to harden. After it hardens, chisels, air hammers and sand blasters are used to remove the hardened but brittle ceramic from the casting. The rough bronze is then "chased" or prepared for patena (chemical coloring) with the use of oxidation and acidity. Chasing may include welding, and sanding to get the surface as close to wjhat the artist intended as possible. After the patena is applied (often with heat torches) it is mounted to its base and is read¥ for delivery. There are a number of other steps involved but this is the general sequence of events. A bronze is the most enduring of all art forms with a life expectancy of well over 10,000 years.