From Clay to Bronze!
So so excited to FINALLY see Wally bronzed! It was a long wait, but worth it.
Everyone at Parks Bronze has been wonderful and patient. I tried to take photos of the process but wasn't always available. Manager Tom, took photos if I couldn't. I'm only missing a few.
Wally the Wallowa Lake Monster is a limited edition of 55. For this first run I produced five, then changed it to ten. I'm not sure what Wally will sell for because I still need final receipts.
Below are the steps Wally took from clay to bronze.
Step 1. Molding
If necessary, the clay sculpture is cut apart and runners are added. A runner is a channel that directs the molten metal towards the individual part. A rubber mother mold is then made on the artist’s original sculpture and pieces. Below, Steve Parks cuts up clay Wally. (This was hard to watch!)
Step 2. Wax Pouring
Hot wax is poured into the mother mold, creating a hollow wax copy of the artist’s original.
Multiple wax copies can be made from one mother mold.
Step 3. Wax Chasing
Wax artisans remove seam lines from the wax copies with tools and heat.
Step 4. Spruing
The wax pieces are then mounted on wax cups during the spruing process.
Cups are what the molten bronze will flow down and into the runners and wax pieces.
Step 5. Slurry
A hard shell is then built around the waxes and sprues in preparation for metal pouring.
Step 6. Lost Wax Casting
The hardened shell mold is placed in a hot oven to melt out the wax pattern.
Step 7. After the wax is melted out, this leaves an empty slurry shell in which red hot liquid bronze is then poured.
Step 8. Shell Removal
After the bronze is completely cooled, the shell is busted up and removed from the bronze castings.
Step 9. Metal Chasing
Artisans then assemble bronzes by welding parts together and tooling out welds.
Step 10. Quality Control
Bronzes are checked for quality.
Step 11. Patina
Heat and chemicals are then applied to bronzes, creating colors and finishes.
Step 12. Bases and Numbering the Edition.
Wally's hollow base was filled with foam and sealed with a felt bottom. Patina artist, Bart, applies the edition numbers.