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Lost Wax Bronze Casting Processes 1 - 3

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Lost Wax Bronze Casting Processes 1 - 3

The Lost Wax bronze-casting process is an ancient practice that is still in widespread use today. The steps which are usually used in casting small bronze sculptures in a modern bronze foundry are as follows:

An artist creates an original artwork from wax, clay, or another material. Wax and oil-based clay are often preferred because these materials retain their softness.

1) A mold is made of the original sculpture. Most molds are at least two pieces, and a shim with keys is placed between the two halves during construction so that the mold can be put back together accurately. Most molds of small sculptures are made from plaster, but can also be made of GRP fiberglass or other materials. To preserve the fine details on the original artwork's surface, there is usually an inner mold made of latex or vinyl, which is supported by the plaster part of the mold.

2) Usually, the original artwork is destroyed during the making and initial deconstruction of the plaster mold. This is because the originals are solid, and do not easily bend as the plaster mold is removed. Often long, thin pieces are cut off of the original and molded separately. Sometimes, especially in the case of large original (such as life-size) sculptures, many molds are needed to recreate the original sculpture.

3) Once the plaster and latex mold is finished, molten wax is poured into it and swished around until an even coating, usually about 1/4 inches think, covers the entire inner surface of the mold. This may be done in several layers.

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