Modern bronze sculptures can be created using several different methods. Students of bronze casting usually work in direct wax, where the model is formed of wax, possibly over a core, or with a core cast in place, if the piece is to be hollow. After the metal has cooled, the external ceramic/clay is chipped away, revealing an image of the wax form, including core pins, sprues, vents, and risers. These are all then painstakingly removed and polished over in order to give the piece its proper form.
For a large sculpture, the artist will usually prepare small study models to ascertain the correct proportions for the piece. An intermediate-sized model (or a maquette) is then constructed with all of the final details. The maquette is then used to determine the final dimensions of the piece, which is formed out of wood, cardboard, plastic foam, and/or paper to approximately fill the volume while keeping the weight as minimal as possible. Finally, clay, plaster or similar material is used to form the full-size model, from which a mould may be constructed. Modern welding techniques allow larger sculptures to be cast in pieces, and then joined at a later stage.
There are a few qualities of Bronze that make it such a good medium for casting. One of the main features is how it reacts to heat. When heated sufficiently it will expand within the mould, allowing it to take on its form down to the minutest details. It then shrinks while keeping the form and detail, making it easier to remove from the mould. It is also very durable, able to withstand the elements for many years before sustaining significant damage if properly prepared. Finally, the ability to use corrosive materials to create a patina allows sculptors to create a vibrant coating and completely change the aesthetic of the piece.
Our Modern Sculptures
Please take a look at our stunning range of Contemporary Sculptures above and get in touch if you have any questions about a particular piece.