Step 1 Making the Mold from an Original Work of Art:
This step is by far the most critical. All the detail which appear on the sculpture must be captured in this Mold. A two part silicone mold is then created and prepared for the wax.
Step 2 Making the Wax Casting:
Melted wax is poured into the mold to form a wax duplicate of the original art work. The wax is allowed to cool for several hours before being removed.
Step 3 Removing the Wax Casting:
The wax is pulled from the mold and compared to the original piece of art.
Step 4 Spruing:
Wax rods (gates) and pouring cups are attached to the wax casting to provide ventilation and ensure a full pour.
Step 5 Casting the Ceramic Mold:
Depending on the artwork, the wax casting is next placed in a plaster block or dipped into investment liquid and covered with ceramic until the casting has a hard shell.
Step 6 Burn-Out:
The ceramic shell or plaster block is then fired as the pre-existing wax casting melts and burns out leaving an empty cavity. This is why the process is known as the Lost Wax Method.
Step 7 Casting:
The plaster mold is removed from the kiln and immediately the melted bronze is poured into the shell. At this time of pouring, the bronze is 2100 degrees Fahrenheit.
Step 8 Break-Out:
After the casting has cooled several hours, the shell is carefully broken away leaving unfinished bronze. At this time, all wax rods and gats are cut away and discarded.
Step 9 Sandblasting:
Any fragments of the ceramic shell are removed by sandblasting. The sculpture is also carefully inspected at this time.
Step 10 Assembling:
Any assembling required to complete the project is done at this time and all welds are chased.
Step 11 Polish:
The raw bronze now goes through a series of polishes to get the finish down to a smooth, glowing bronze.
Step 12 Patina:
All bronze starts with a liver of sulphur treatment to give the bronze the dark brown detail. Additional patinas are then added to produce an array of finishes.
Step 13 Inspection:
If the piece of art has any moving parts, lubricating oil is applied as pert of the final inspection stage.
Step 14 Shipping:
The art work is now ready to be packaged and shipped.