Bronze is the most popular metal for cast metal sculptures; a cast-metal sculpture of bronze is often called a bronze. Common bronze alloys have the unusual and very desirable property of expanding slightly just before they set, thus filling the finest details of a mold.
The strength and lack of brittleness (ductility) of the material is an advantage when figures in action are to be created, especially when compared to various stone materials (see marble sculpture for an example). The value of the bronze for other uses is disadvantageous to the preservation of bronze scuptures; few large ancient bronzes have survived as during wartime many were remelted to make weapons or to create new sculptures commemorating the victors, while a far larger portion of contemporary stone and ceramic sculptures have survived, even if only in fragments subsequently reassembled.
The manufacture of bronzes is highly skilled work, and a number of distinct casting processes may be employed, including lost-wax casting (and its modern-day spin-off ceramic shell casting), sandcasting and centrifugal casting. In the lost-wax casting method, the artist starts with a full-sized model of the sculpture, most often a clay model. A mold is made from the clay pattern; a wax is then cast from the mold. The wax is then invested in another kind of mold or shell, which is heated in a kiln until the wax runs out. The investment is then filled with molten bronze.
Spirit Wrestler Gallery
101-1669 West 3rd Ave.
Canada V6J 1K1
Toll Free: 1-888-669-8813
one block West of the Granville Island gates
Between Pine St. and Fir St.
Tuesday to Saturday, open 10-5
Sunday and Holidays, open 12-5
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