I am currently working on a large medallion that I will be casting in bronze at the Betz Art Foundry. We have done several large medallions over the years and the first thing I do after I conference with my clients and find out what they want included in the design is I draw up a sketch and submit this for approval. After any design changes are discussed and made to the design I then do a mock up in clay, which you see me starting to do in this photo.
Once the mock up in clay is done the client and I will meet and go over any changes or additions to the design because sometimes things don’t always look the same when they are in the 3 dimensional format as they did in the 2 dimensional sketch.
After the clay mock up is approved and everyone is happy with the design I will begin to make a mold out of silicone and plaster. This is done in many sections because when we go do cast the wax in bronze we are limited in size. There are several reasons for this but the most important it that as the metal cools it can warp and shrink and you get less of this in smaller sections.
So first I make a mold and then from that mold I create a wax copy that we invest in a ceramic slurry . Once the ceramic coating is dry we will put this into a kiln and melt the wax out which also hardens the ceramic shell. Into this shell we can pour the molten bronze. We then break away the shell and weld the pieces together as you can see here in this photograph. I am welding together a lilly onto a cross that will be sent to Glenwood Cemetary for a family memorial.
We then polish out all the weld marks and add a patina and the finished sculpture is ready for installation