Art Bronzes by Joan Corder
What is Bronze?

Bronze is not a natural element but an alloy made up of several elements. It is a non-ferrous alloy of copper and tin, and trace metals. Bronze was one of the first alloys developed by ancient metal workers. It is hard and durable and since ancient times has been the most popular metal for casting statues and other art objects.
Bronze has a very elegant finish and an appealing colour. This can change naturally or artificially by the process known as patination. Bronze is very resistant to corrosion. The tin increases the hardness, making bronze more resistant to wear. Lost wax casting is the process by which a bronze is cast from an artist's sculpture. The lost wax process has been used for thousands of years to produce objects in metal which could not be produced any other way, due to the complexity of their form. Bronze foundry
The Bronze Age, following the Stone Age, was so called because of the far-reaching effects the developing copper-bronze metallurgy had on earlier societies. The date at which the age began varied by region; in Greece and China it began before 3000 BC, in Britain not until c. 1900 BC. Later, iron replaced bronze in the manufacture of swords and other weapons.
Lost Wax Bronze Casting
  • An original sculpture is first created using a material such as wax or clay
  • A rubber mould is made from the original sculpture in order to create duplicates of the original design. The mould captures every detail from the original sculpture
  • Molten wax is poured into the rubber mould to form a wax copy of the original sculpture. The hot wax cools and hardens. The wax casting is removed from the mould and further work performed by hand to produce an exact pattern of the original sculpture
  • Wax rods ("gates") are attached to the wax pattern to allow the even flow of molten metal avoiding the trapping of air and gas
  • The wax is then coated with several layers of a liquid refectory ceramic ("investment") and allowed to cure for several days The hard heat-resistant shell with the wax inside is fired in a kiln. The ceramic shell is baked and the wax melts away to leave a cavity (hence the term "lost wax")
  • Molten bronze is heated to a very high temperature and is poured into the cavity
  • Once cooled, the ceramic shell is broken away to reveal a bronze sculpture
  • Traces of ceramic shell are removed from the bronze by sandblasting
  • The sprues (a sprue is the passage through which molten material is introduced into a mould) and gates are cut away and further work is performed by chasing, sanding and polishing to achieve an exact copy of the original sculpture
  • A patina finish is created on the bronze surfaces. A chosen colour is applied with the use of chemicals and is heated with the flame of a torch to add colour and shading to the sculpture. The patina is sealed under a wax coating.
Art in Bronze
Created by BCWebdesign