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How to make a Bronze Statue

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Heather Campbell

on 24 April 2013

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Transcript of How to make a Bronze Statue

Heather Campbell
Kyle Henderson “How Do You Make a Bronze Statue?” Bronze Getting a Closer Look!
First used during the Bronze Age, to which it gave its name, bronze has been used throughout history in numerous ways. The ancients used bronze for making armor, weapons, utensils, household items, and some of the finest works of sculpture, an art in which the Greeks excelled Hellenic Period Sphyrelaton: is a simple method in which metal sheets are hammered over a wooden core and then riveted together. This technique was commonly used in the earliest large-scale Greek bronze figures. Sphyrelaton is also exemplified in figures such as those found in the temple of Apollo at Dreros on Crete. The Bronze Age Repoussé Why not melt it? As the ability to forge metals advanced in the creation of weapons, Artist found new ways to create sculptures.

These new found processes also allowed for larger life-sized scaled works. Lost Wax Casting The lost-wax casting of bronze is achieved in three different ways:
solid lost-wax casting
hollow lost-wax casting by the direct process,
hollow lost-wax casting by the indirect process. Hollow Lost-Wax Casting by the Indirect Process Bronze is an alloy typically composed of 90% copper and 10% tin and, because it has a lower melting point than pure copper, it will stay liquid longer when filling a mold. It also produces a better casting than pure copper and has superior tensile strength. A method of creating a relief design by hammering or pressing the reverse side of a metal surface. While most evidence of this technique have been found to be made of gold or silver, larger statues and works were usually made of copper, tin or bronze. Sphyrelaton went out of use as a primary method when lost-wax casting became the major technique for producing bronze statuary. Solid Lost-wax Casting This method, which is also the earliest and simplest process. In this technique, the artist first creates a full-sized wax model of the sculpture, which is covered with clay and heated. When the clay has hardened, the wax is removed. The clay mold is then inverted and filled with molten bronze. Once the metal has cooled, the clay model is broken open to reveal the bronze figure, and its surface is smoothed. Hollow lost-wax casting
by the direct process Since the physical properties of bronze do not allow large solid casting, the use of solid wax models limited the founder to casting very small figures. To deal with this problem, the ancient Greeks adopted the process of hollow lost-wax casting to make large, freestanding bronze statues. To create a bronze statue by the direct method:
a clay model of the approximate size and shape of the intended figure is made.
model is covered with wax, & vents are added to ease the flow of molten metal.
model is covered again in an outer layer of clay and is heated to remove the wax, creating a hollow matrix.
Molten bronze is then poured into the mold until the entire matrix is filled.
When the bronze has cooled sufficiently, the mold can be broken open to obtain the bronze figure.
Typically, large-scale Greek sculpture was cast in parts, like the head, torso, arms, and legs. These bronze pieces were then carefully joined by rivets, and small defects were repaired by the insertion of patches of bronze. The eye sockets were left hollow in the casting, and eyeballs of glass, stone, or other materials, imitating the cornea and iris, were inserted, contributing to the statue's lifelike appearance. This video shows a modern approach to this process. The indirect process is very similar to the direct process. However the original model is not lost. Instead, a wax replica is created from the original before pouring the molten bronze. Interesting Modern Facts!! Did you know that the Statue of Liberty is made with a modern Sphyrelaton Technique! Next time you bite into a hollow chocolate bunny, know that it was made in a process similar to the Hollow Lost-Wax technique! Bibliography: http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/ http://wildlifeart.org/subsites/virtual-foundry/index2.html Greek Art and Archaeology, By John Griffiths Pedley "How it's Made: Bronze Sculptures" The Science Channel Via Youtube. The capacity of bronze to hold more complex shapes enabled sculptors to experiment with less rigid poses, contributing to the transition into the Classical Period. http://library.thinkquest.org/23492/data/bronze.htm There were many sources for copper around the Mediterranean basin in Greek antiquity, with Cyprus being among the most important.
Tin was imported from as far as southwest Turkey and Cornwall, England. http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/grbr/hd_grbr.htm Riace Bronze Warrior
Statue B
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