Bronze casting is a fascinating process. It is one of the few occupations where, despite technological advances, the aspect of original craftsmanship is preserved. Striving for perfection, TEP has continuously kept up its efforts to improve and refine its methods. As a result TEP was able to win over an international clientele of successful sculptors with high demands regarding their work.
Art foundry TEP uses the method of cire perdue or lost wax. First a plaster mould is made from the orginal statue. This negative model is used to make a wax model.
the wax model
After the wax model has been cast, it is filled up with fire clay and corrected or 'retouched'. The wax model is hollow and about 3 to 4 mm thick like the bronze statue eventually poured in its place. As TEP's castings are so thin, they are light and of the best possible quality.
Then the wax ducts or 'gates' are set in place. They serve as channels along which the metal flows to the surface of the statue when it is cast. With larger statues, wax ducts are placed inside the statue, thus avoiding marks on the surface of the castings.
melting the wax
The wax model is covered with a layer of fire clay and the new mould is placed in a special kiln where the process of melting the wax takes place. Heated air is used so that the statue doesn't crack.
Metal is heated to make it liquid. Tep uses Silicon Bronze, which yields excellent results.
When the wax has melted the moulds are removed from the oven and they are tightened with steel bands. Then the statues are cast: liquid bronze is poured in the place of the melted wax.
revealing the sculpture
After the casting the moulds are broken to reveal the bronze statues
When a piece is cast in components, the parts need to be welded together. TEP uses the exact same alloy for welding as for casting so that no marks remain visible on the surface.
The sculpture is then chased: the metal surface is worked on to attain its final appearance.
Finally, the statue is colored with a patina.
Having seen these pictures you may now understand that casting sculptures in bronze requires great craftmanship and care! TEP's team is up to the task and can reinforce the artist's original sculpture with a new meaning in bronze.