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Mold Making

Working from an original sculpted from wood, stone, clay, plaster, terra cotta, wax, etc., a rubber mold is created that is supported by a mother mold of plaster or fiberglass.

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Wax Pouring

Hot wax is poured into the rubber and plaster mold to create an even, uniform wax thickness of about 3/16th‘s of an inch. After the wax cools, it is removed from the rubber mold, leaving a highly detailed positive image of the sculpture.

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Wax Chasing

Using many of the same tools the artist used to sculpt the original the wax is “chased”. This gives Art Castings a wax replica of the artists’ original sculpture. This wax replica will be used to create a bronze sculpture that will be an exact replica of the artist’s original.

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Spruing

Once the Wax Chasing is complete, sprues (wax bars) and the pouring cup is carefully attached to the wax pattern to insure the proper flow of metal and to control the metal solidification.

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Shell

Up to a dozen layers of ceramic are applied to the wax positive ensuring that the wax pattern and sprues are fortified by an outer ceramic shell that becomes the final mold after the shell is fired and the wax is “lost” (melted away).

The shells (still containing wax) are placed into the kiln and heated to 1600 degree F. At this point the wax is “Lost” (melted away) leaving a hollow ceramic shell that is ready to accept the molten bronze.

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Metal Pouring

Art Castings uses electric melting in their bronze foundry because it is cleaner, faster, and offers more control over this important step. After the dewaxing we pour the molten metal (bronze at 2000 degrees or stainless steel at 2870 degrees) into the shell and allow it to cool. Art Castings pours bronze most every day.

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Welding

No matter what level of welding is required, Art Castings’ skilled welders take special care in making certain that every piece is hand-crafted to match the exact size and proportions of the original. In cases where sculptures had to be divided into subsections in order to be molded and cast.

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Metal Chasing

The process of metal chasing is to remove the weld and replace the texture in the sculpture. Pneumatic tools are used to restore detail, resulting in an exact representation of the artist’s original.

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Patina

Art Casting will apply various finishes and chemicals to the surface of the bronze to ensure they create the desired color effect that the artist desires. Finally, the sculpture is mounted to the appropriate base and carefully packaged and shipped.

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The Lost Wax Casting Process

Art Castings of Colorado uses the lost wax casting process to cast both bronze and stainless steel sculptures. The lost wax process has been used since ancient times and produces exacting, finely detailed reproductions of the original work.

Many other foundries use the lost wax casting process but most of Art Castings clients will tell you that there are many things that clearly sets them apart from the competition.

The basic steps are the same whether you are creating stainless steel or bronze artwork – make a mold, pour the wax, “chase” the wax, create a ceramic shell, dewax and pour the metal, sandblast the cast metal, weld all the pieces together, chase the metal, apply patina and mount it to a base.

WE CAN CREATE THE PERFECT REPRESENTATION OF YOUR WORK

Learn why sculptors across the nation and around the world make Art Castings of Colorado their foundry of choice. Contact us today to get a quote on your next bronze casting.