1 Breaking the investment mould
which also called 'lost mould' because it will be destroyed in order to free the cast statue from its 'casting shell'
2 dry cleaning the cast bronze
by means of hammering the investment mould. The closer I get to the bronze skin, I must switch to more delicate tools such as metal brushes and eventually hard-hair brushes
3 dry cleaned cast
reveals the first results post-casting. No information about the quality of the bronze-skin can be accessed yet but the integrity of the piece is visible, no major deformations and no missing parts either
4 'Décochage' or wet cleaning
A high pressured projection of water and sand onto the rough bronze will free the skin from most remaining investment mould material
5 'Decochage' or wet cleaning
helps make a final assessment regarding the qualities or flaws of the cast
6 Loving the results
Bronze casting is difficult so success is worth celebrating
This cast was unfortunate! Beside removing the normal signs of the casting procedure (ordinary metal chasing phase), I must address a set of severe casting flaws
by means of welds, rasps, punches, sand paper and what not, the forms, lines and quality of skin could be retrieved
9 Separated cast parts
The situation determines if a piece benefits from being cast in parts. In this case, 2 hands will be chiseled separately before they can be brought back where they belong
10 Refining separated parts
Chiseling a bronze part to bringing it back where it belongs
11 Separation and Union
Gathering of well chiseled separated elements to favour their re-unification
12 Welding as a repairing technique
so the piece will recover its rightful integrity, as far as forms and volumes are concerned
13 Weld repair or warm repair
By means of weld, the arm is now united to the main body. Further chiseling will be needed to harmonise masses, forms and texture.
14 Cold repair
Depending the situation, cold repair might be preferred (the bronze is too thin, the alloy must be preserved in its purity). Here is an example of creating a bronze nail and inserting it into the bronze mass to repair and restore an original form and its skin
15 'Satinatura' or bronze skin
Once the main repairs are successfully addressed , the 'satinatura' or 'skin' work starts. Each part its own feature and characteristic: body skin is not hair, hair is not textile, textile is not jewellery. Here, we can see 4 different kind of addressing the chiseling phase; body skin, hair, hair dress and necklace.
16 'Satinatura' or bronze skin
As it progresses, I share how I am addressing the bronze skin, drapery sections.
17 'Satinatura' or bronze skin
A piece can offer different kind of bronze-skin effects. The work on the 'skin' is performed cold, by a great variety of electrical tools but mostly by a myriad of hand tools such as punches, sand papers and files
18 Tools of the craft: chiseling
diamond rasps, scrapers, sand papers and more
19 Tools of the craft: chiseling
a selection of my 'big' bures
20 Tools of the craft: chiseling
A selection my diamond jewellery bures
Due to the many technical necessities casting bronze imposes, the cast model always suffers a great deal. The pins to maintain the core into place leave little wholes, the feeders and vents leave bigger wholes while dirt and oxydation (of all nature) might have damaged the skin of the statue... The list of repairs can be long!
The complete restoration of the statues beauty can take several month, depending on the level of refinement of the 'skin'.