How is a bronze sculpture made?
The creation of a bronze sculpture starts with a good idea and a sketch on paper. When the sketch is approved we start making a 3D model in clay. This way we get a better picture of the right proportions for the sculpture. After this first clay model, the model is adapted until it gives us the right feeling. Now we can make a silicone mould and start the casting process.
The mould is made from a kind of silicone that preserves all the details of the original clay model. When a sculpture is too big to be casted in one piece several smaller moulds are made and afterwards they are assembled. The mould is covered in wax and submerged in liquid plaster.
When the plaster has dried we are ready to cast the bronze.
Bronze is an alloy mainly consisting of copper, tin and zinc. The metal is melted at a temperature of approximately 1200° C. Once the bronze is liquid it is casted into the mould and the liquid bronze will replace the wax inside the mould. Once the bronze is cooled down the plaster is removed and the bronze sculpture will appear. When it is a larger sculpture several pieces will have to be welded together.
Finally the bronze sculpture will receive its colour. Naturally the bronze is yellow or orange but when we treat it with certain chemicals the colour will change. Most of the time bronze has a brown, black or green patina but several other options are available.
As you can see, there is a lot of work and effort in making a bronze statue.