Making the silicone mould: 

'The Stillness Between Holding On & Letting Go'

 


The final piece in modelling clay ready for mould making



The first layer of silicone is painted onto the clay picking up the detail


 

 

Placing playing cards and chocolate moulds that create the splits and keys in the separate pieces


 


Painting on the second layer of silicone adding to the thickness of the mould


 

Third silicone layer completed



First fibreglass layer with walls splitting the mould into convenient pieces

 


The mould is trimmed and drilled for bolts which help to maintain the true fit.

 

 

The clay inner piece is finally removed and the mould sent off to the foundry for bronze casting via the lost wax process.


 

Making the ceramic waste-mould: 

'The Stillness Between Holding On & Letting Go'


 

The Silicone mould is used to cast wax copies for each bronze edition (15). Each wax is then used to make a ceramic waste-mould


 

Each wax piece has vents and a funnel attached to allow air bubbles to escape during the pouring of the metal. These are removed in the bronze stage using an angle-grinder.


 The wax pieces are dipped in liquid ceramic seven times to create the ceramic waste mould with thick enough walls to survive the heat of the molten bronze.


Casting the Bronze

'The Stillness Between Holding On & Letting Go'


 The raw liquid Bronze is removed from the furnace.

'New Age Bronze' also called 'Everdur Silicon Bronze 95-4-1' is constituted of: 

95% Copper 4% Silicon and 1% Manganese

as opposed to other bronzes normally made up of tin, zinc & copper.



 The Liquid Bronze is poured into the ceramic waste moulds



Hot Bronze solidifying in the waste moulds



Cast Bronze Pieces are removed from the waste mould


 

The ceramic waste mould is removed from each piece and the vents and funnel are removed


 

Assembling all the pieces which are welded together


 

The final cast bronze complete - buffed and assembled

 

Applying the Patina: 

'The Stillness Between Holding On & Letting Go'

 

Michael, from The Loop Art Foundry, achieves the correct Patina using various chemicals and a blow-torch to set the final colour of the bronze - The patina can be any colour from pure white to pure black!


 Ready for your home: 

'The Stillness Between Holding On & Letting Go'


 

Completed bronze with patina



In-Fran-Gible


 

The first layer of silicone is painted onto the clay picking up the detail


 

Placing playing cards and chocolate moulds that create the splits and keys in the separate pieces


 

Painting on the second and third layers of silicone adding to the thickness of the mould


  

Painting on the third layer of silicone adding to the thickness of the mould



 First fibreglass layer with walls splitting the mould into convenient pieces


 

The mould is trimmed and drilled for bolts which help to maintain the true fit.


 

The original piece is finally removed and the hollow mould sent off to the foundry for bronze casting via the lost wax process.




Caring for & Cleaning Bronze


Cleaning Bronzes? I'm often asked about how to clean bronze sculpture and it’s really much simpler than you may think. Bronzes by their very nature require very little maintenance.
The very last step in the foundry process is when a coat of wax is applied to the bronze piece. This helps create a barrier to humidity in the air that can cause the bronze to oxidize / ‘go green’. It also creates a pleasing sheen to the piece. Waxing is usually done when the bronze is still warm as it allows the wax to enter the pores of the bronze. This layer of wax will last at least a year – unless the piece has accidentally been cleaned aggressively with an abrasive cleaning product. Never use Handy Andy or anything similar as this will strip the patina off the surface!

Dusting: Use a soft, clean cloth to dust. Once a fortnight is fine.

Cleaning: Only if the piece is very grimy will this be necessary and then simple mild soap and water will do the trick. Use a few drops of mild, unscented dish-washing liquid in a bowl. Dampen a cloth and wipe down – use a soft toothbrush to get into any fine grooves or intricate detailed areas.
Rinse the cloth and wipe down with clean water to remove the soap residue. Don’t pour water over and onto the sculpture as the base often has felt underneath it and the water may damage this.
Allow the piece to dry completely before waxing. (You don’t want any moisture on the piece when you apply the wax layer. So allow to dry for + 3 hours.)

Waxing: Only use a plain clear paste wax. See the picture here of one that is locally available from any good hardware store. It is called “Antique Wax” and is made by Woodoc. (The smallest tin is fine as you need very little of it).
Using a soft clean rag, apply a light thin coat and allow to dry (+ 20 minutes.) Then buff with a soft, clean cloth like you would a shoe.
If the piece lives outdoors you could apply a second coat. Waxing only needs to be done once a year.


Bronze Art Africa - Where all of Marke Meyer's work is cast.