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How a Sculpture is Cast in Bronze

How a Sculpture is Cast in Bronze

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Debbie Elmer uses the “lost wax” method for casting her sculptures. The “lost wax” method of bronze casting is an ancient technique that has been used to create sculpture for hundreds of years. Although the materials and tools used by foundries today are the results of higher technology, the basic method remains the same: A wax copy of the original sculpture is created. This wax is coated in a type of liquid ceramic and then placed inside a kiln. The heat from the kiln hardens the ceramic and the wax is melted away (hence the description as the “lost wax” method). This void is then filled with molten bronze. Once cool, the ceramic shell is knocked away and the bronze sculpture is revealed. Although larger sculptures are generally welded together in sections, the remaining steps involve sand blasting and coloring the sculpture with heat and chemicals.

This process involves many intermediate steps and is labor intensive and time consuming. It generally takes a foundry at least 4-8 weeks to create a bronze from an original sculpture.

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