What does it take to complete a custom, bronze, life-sized sculpture?
Sculpture is a multi-faceted art medium that involves many skilled professionals to reach completion. A sketch of a sculpture may start with me in my studio, but on the road to a free-standing, life-size bronze sculpture, over thirty people may touch the art to ensure its reached perfection.
Starting with sketching, I take up to 5 hours to put my thoughts onto paper—continually moving and letting the sculpture come to life organically. This is the first step to creating a memorable piece. The sketch is a rough idea of what I will be putting into clay and something I can show clients.
Once the sketch is complete, I move on to a moquette. This is a small version of the life-size sculpture, made entirely from clay. The lines are rough, and there isn’t much detail, but it gives me and the client an idea of what the end product will look like. Depending on the subject matter, this can take up to 100 hours.
After the rough clay sketch, the large sculpture is then sculpted. This process takes anywhere from 100 hours to over 3,000 hours depending on the scale of the project.
From there, I have a mold maker that comes to the studio, cuts the sculpture into sections and he/ she makes a mold of the clay. After the mold has reached completion, we then move to wax pouring, and a ceramic shell. These three steps are incredibly skill orientated. It takes many people to master. This is what will give the sculpture the detail and the size it needs.
I dip each mold into a slurry of silica sand. It is important for these pieces to have a thick mold to withstand the bronze pouring.
A sculpture is more than bronze. It’s more than clay. It’s the dedication, mastery, and artistry of every individual, during every step of the process. From conception to the final product, a life-size sculpture uses the skills of over thirty people. And can take up to 3,000 hours! A custom bronze sculpture is a piece that will last a lifetime, and touch generations to come. It’s an investment in a memory or an individual, and the artists behind a bronze sculpture pour their hearts into each piece to show their respect for the subject matter.