If you are a person who loves to visit museums or art galleries, you may have already seen a bronze sculpture and appreciated its form and texture. Bronze is a common element for making statues, since it one of those metals that can be easily sourced and worked on to transform into a desired object.
It may have also crossed your mind how you can actually create a bronze sculpture for your personal use or for expressing your artistic side. It may be a little hard for beginners, since the processes involves many steps, but you can start your own bronze statue as long as you have the proper materials and skills. Here is a short guide you can consider.
- Conceptualize your design. You must know your design first before starting. Gather your clay to form your desired shape and size for the sculpture. If you want a small sculpture, you can try plasticine made from oil-based products. For a big statue, you may opt for clay as foundation. Make sure that the clay is just right--not too dry or too wet--so you can easily create the details.
- Create the mould. You can now create the mold, which should be the image of the model that you first made. The popular materials for making molds are plaster and flexible gel. Once you stick the plaster and flexible gel onto the surface of the model, it will copy the model’s form and when it hardens, it will turn into your mould.
- Make a plaster master. When the mold is ready to use, make a plaster master with it. It will strengthen the structure of your sculpture and improve its quality until the time that you will cover it with bronze. After that, cover it with wax by pouring it all over, then smoothen the wax to fill in even the lines from the mould.
- Remove the wax. Take off the wax, and then smoothen the portions onto which the mould was stuck then put on more wax sprues to it to make the flow of liquid metal smoother while adding vents to give room for the gas to exit.
- Dip your mould. You will have to use liquid silica and stucco as a dip for your wax mould. Do this several times until about half inch of the coating will stick to the mold. After this, you will have to store your mold within a kiln to harden it and let the wax melt away. Cool the mould afterwards. After this, reheat the mold, and place it on a pile of sand.
- Pour the bronze. Pour your molten bronze on the sculpture and allow it to dry. or sprinkle on some sand before removing the shell. Afterwards, do the finishing touches on your sculpture. File or cut off excess bronze, then polish it. You can add corrosive materials to form a patina on the bronze’s surface. This adds age and style to your sculpture.
Sculpting has always been a form of art for many. Just keep in mind that creating one will require skills, creativity, effort, time, and money. If you are willing to give all of this, then you can go ahead and create your own bronze sculpture.