“Creating a Bronze Memorial Medallion for Dallas Area Rapid Trasit, D.A.R.T.”

The architectural firm of PhillipsMay in Dallas designed and built the new rapid transit terminals in Dallas, Texas and they wanted a large bronze medallion to commemorate the the new terminals.

They contacted me, artist and owner of the Betz Art Foundry to help them cast the design and I started this project by first hand carving the large medallion in clay. We are artists here at the Betz Art Foundry and all our designs are meant to be works of art that stand the test of time, whether we are doing a memorial for the Court House Downtown Houston or for a private family or Firm. It is a resposibility that we take personally because these memorials will be around for a very long time and they mean a lot to the friends and families involved.

I wanted to make sure that I had perfect circles to use for the foundation of the medallion so I built an armature out of aluminum first and added clay inside the form to crave out the design. This gave the medallion some continuity and flow.

Design and texture were carefully added and the clay was taken to the client for approval. Once I had the go ahead I proceeded to make a large mold out of silicone rubber so that I could get a wax copy from the mold to use in the bronze casting process. The medallion was to big to cast in one piece. When the molten bronze cools it can warp and is much harder to fix then if it is cast in several sections and welded together.

We do investment casting so we have to first take the wax and ‘invest” this in a slurry that will eventually go into our kiln and the wax will be melted out and the slurry will turn hard. Then is hard vessel will be used to pour the melted bronze into it. Then the hard shell will be chipped away and the bronze sections will be fitted together and welded with bronze rod.

The bronze medallion will then be polished and finished out so that you can not tell that the medallion was ever in nine sections. We will deliver the Medallion to Dallas and help over see the installation because it is important that we accompany the memorial to the end.

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