|Concept: It’s a feeling, memory, picture, vision, or a sketch that the client wants to capture for their artwork. This will show the beginning stages of the client’s dream coming to a reality for themselves and others to see.|
|Model Making: Once the clay sculpture is complete and approved by the client, I send the piece to a mold maker who cuts the sculpture in sections to make a mold. The mold maker continues by painting a silicon rubber over one side of the sculpture, then the opposite side. Once both sides are dry, the mold maker paints a plaster over the rubber to give it a solid backing to keep the sculpture form.|
|Ceramic shell: Each wax section is then dipped into a watery slurry mix of silica sand to create a shell around all sides of the wax. Once dry, the wax is then dipped multiple times to thicken the silica sand shell around the wax. This process takes between 1-2 weeks to dip, cure and repeat to capture the desired thickness needed.|
|Burnout: Once the ceramic shell is dry, wax is melted out of the shell. This process is called “burnout.” This is accomplished by placing the wax covered ceramic shell into an oven to melt out the wax. This step creates a space in the ceramic shell where the wax once was. This is the void where the bronze will flow in.
Pouring the Bonze or “Investment”: Bronze bars are heated to a melting temperature of 2,000⁰ Fahrenheit. Once molten, the bronze is poured into the ceramic shell void. This process takes one hour to heat up, and less than 5 minutes to “invest” the bronze before it cools.
Welding: Once all sections are cast in bronze and cooled for several hours, the ceramic shell is then broken apart by hammers. Each bronze section is sandblasted then sent to the welding room. During this phase, the welders weld each section back together like a large puzzle. This takes anywhere from 5 to 80 hours of time depending on the size of the sculpture.
Metal Chasing: After the sculpture is welded back to its original form, workers then use different air tools with texture carbon bits, sanders, hammers and other specialized tools to replicate delicate textures created by my hand sculpting. This process is a highly skilled and time consuming process. If you try to skip, or go fast with this process to save cost, the final product will show in the work. This process can take anywhere from 40 to 100+ hours.
Patina and Basting: After metal chasing is inspected and approved by myself, the sculpture is sent to coloring, called patina. The sculpture is first sand blasted to remove any oils so the colors can adhere appropriately to the bronze surface. Once complete, the bronze sculpture is ready for color, one of the most exciting parts. The sculpture is then heated with a torch to open the pours of the bronze just enough to apply different acrylics and chemicals to color the sculpture. Currently, we are able to color the sculpture any color, even pink if the client requests. Once the client is happy with the colors that are applied, the sculpture is then lacquered and waxed for maximum environmental protection.
Maintenance: Wash the sculpture down with as sponge once or twice a year, re-apply a wax with a brush and your piece will last generations.