The creation of bronze sculpture requires great skill and craftsmanship. Artists Mark Bava and Larry Scheuckler know this process and have spent years perfecting their craft. Each of them has found their creative niche in form and visual presentation. Through the casting process, Mark Bava creates what he likes to call “primitive relics”, focusing on each sculpture’s unique outcome. Larry Scheuckler uses live models to create his casts, striving to achieve live movement in his sculptures.
A time and labor intensive process. Each piece physically undergoes a series of castings and hand finishing with proper guidance of true artisans. We have simplified this complex process which can include anywhere from 30 to 100 steps, depending on how technical you want to get.
Original Model: The process begins with an original model made from clay or wood.
Making the Mold: A flexible material is applied over the entire surface of the original model and covered in a plaster mold to ensure stability. When dry, the plaster mold is removed and reassembled.
Wax Casting: Molten wax is then poured into the mold. When cooled, the plaster is discarded and the artist can repair any imperfections that may appear in the wax version.
Spruing: The wax copy is fastened with funnels and rods to provide paths for molten casting material to flow and air to escape.
Ceramic Mold and Burnout: The wax model is then dipped in liquid ceramic slurry until a suitable thickness is built up, producing yet another shell mold. The ceramic mold is then heated and the wax is completely melted out. The hollow mold is now ready to receive the bronze.
Casting: Bronze is heated to about 2,000 degrees fahrenheit and poured carefully into the shell.
Polish/Patina: After the bronze has cooled and solidified, the final piece is revealed. The artist may add polishing and patina to enhance the work.
The Final Result – A Unique Bronze Sculpture: The process of lost wax casting has not changed a great deal since 500 B.C. A single bronze sculpture from beginning to end can take from as little as a month to years to complete.