Contoured rolled rings, seamless rolled rings, and open die are all intriguing and historical ways of bronze forging. The techniques add to the capabilities of artists around the world. This medium is extremely popular because it is so flexible and giving when it comes to working with the material. Hexes, flats, rounds, shafts, hubs, discs, cylinders, and other types of custom shapes allow for the creation of masterpieces by any level of forger. Metal is more popular than ever with applications in all levels of society, from pots and pans and decorative candlesticks along the hearth, to the striking statues seen in museums and gardens.
What exactly does bronze forging mean? How does it benefit the artist?
To forge means to work with a specific type of metal, whether hot or cold. Some metals require a certain temperature to insure a pliable material capable of being formed into a specific shape or poured into a mold. This craft is actually the oldest metalworking craft known to man, with a history dating back to early mankind.
This interesting process has allowed mankind to protect the family, go to war, eat a hot meal, and enjoy the art of the day. Historically, metalworking was completed by hand, utilizing hot temperatures, cold temperatures, or a combination of both to get the metal worked into the perfect shape. Then die casting came along, adding a whole new aspect to the metalworking process. In addition to shaping metals, metalworking today also uses a process involving molds to create reproductions of artwork, such as resin molds.
There are numerous ways to get the perfect shape, whether one is utilizing a press technique, upset technique, automatic hot technique, a roll technique, to name just a few. Any of these techniques make it possible to get that perfected shape that the artist envisions for the final piece.
Bronze forging is the means by which people or companies create items of that material using one or more techniques. The metal is heated to the appropriate temperature, and then a technique is utilized to insure the best form for that metal. In fact, many people say that this is an easy metal to work with as it is simplistic in the combination of metals used to get the most stable product.
Statues, jewelry, dishes, cookware, decorations, artwork, and other types of products are popular when it comes to bronze forging. This metal was so important historically that there was an era named after it. However, many people refer to this metal as a copper alloy instead of a metal in and of itself.
Bronze is extremely versatile, making it a popular alloy for many uses. There are not many pieces of artwork forged from this material that have survived history because of its versatility. When weapons were necessary, the artwork would be melted down to create the weapons necessary for battle, and this is a prime example of how versatile the material is. Once the weapons were no longer necessary, they could then be melted down to serve another purpose.
The cycle of turning an alloy from a weapon of war into a structure of peace has made bronze forging a popular and useful talent. Society was built on this type of versatility, and today, people can enjoy even more applications of this popular alloy thanks to modern day advancements in technology.