Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Bronze Casting

This is Véga. She's my antlered girl, like the ones who appear in many of my paintings.
I do have better photos of her in her finished form but I really wanted to show you guys the behind the scenes of making a Bronze figure, because the process is absolutely amazing.

Hopefully I can explain the process in non-Amy-babble :P . THe process is with the casting is to create something that when you put it in the casting mould, and put it in the kiln, it will melt away leaving just a hollowed out form of where your figure once was. After sculpting your figure in wax, which in my case took foreverrr cause I was never happy with it. You need to "run" it up. Which is creating a series of air vents that the air can escape when you pour the bronze into the mould, because if you don't, the air is trapped and parts of your sculpture won't turn out.

I missed a few in between steps and thats because its very very messy, you take your wax figure, balance it very carefully in a tube, and pour a dry mixture of ludo (still am unsure on what that actually consists of :P), brick dust, and plaster, and water together around your figure until it fills up the tube and engulfs your figure. Put that in the kiln at an insane temperature until all the wax and bits and bobs completely melt out, you have yourself a little mould you can pour the bronze in~ In which you get a result similar to the pictures sandwiching this block of text :D

^ This is my little one here, its actually rather big. 

The next step is to crack it open, I used a combination of sledgehammer, and dropping it repeatedly~ It seemed to do the job.

 I felt like a bit of an archaeologist cracking open an ancient relic from the dirt. It was so much fun <3

Please excuse the face, I smile crooked. It was really nice pulling her out of the powdery mess, and seeing she actually turned out~

My quick improve grime removal with a stanley knife before blasting it with the Karcher water compressor.

In which she started to shine and actually look vaguely similar to my original wax. It's so rewarding seeing it get to that stage, though there were sooo many rough edges to smooth out, where there was bronze frilling. Easily fixed with a chisel and a hammer and an angle grinder~ After fixing all of those I hit it with a sand blaster and that got away a lot of the dirty bronzey areas and she started to shine a little bit.

It was a hard choice but I decided to patina her in green. I thought the rustic antiquey bronze look just felt right, so with a concoction of surprisingly easy to find household cleaners and plant supplements, I petina-ed her Brown (see photos sandwiching this post~

And then in the green~ These are just crude photos of her just sitting, fermenting in the sink. I will update soon with very nice photos, that my brother took (he's amazing at photography~) 

Til next time. Have a great day

<3 Amy.

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