THE LOST WAX PROCESS

An original sculpture is first created using a material such as wax or clay. 

A rubber mould is made from the original sculpture in order to create duplicates of the original design. The mould captures every detail from the original sculpture. Molten wax is poured into the rubber mould to form a wax copy of the original sculpture. The hot wax cools and hardens. The wax casting is removed from the mould and further work performed by hand to produce an exact pattern of the original sculpture. 

The wax is then coated with several layers of a liquid refectory ceramic ("investment") and allowed to cure for several days The hard heat-resistant shell with the wax inside is fired in a kiln. The ceramic shell is baked and the wax melts away to leave a cavity (hence the term "lost wax") Molten bronze is heated to a temperature of 700 degrees centigrade and is poured into the cavity. Once cooled, the ceramic shell is broken away to reveal a bronze sculpture. Traces of ceramic shell are removed from the bronze. Further work is performed by chasing, sanding and polishing to achieve an exact copy of the original sculpture. 

A patina finish is created on the bronze surfaces. A chosen colour is applied with the use of chemicals and is heated with the flame of a torch to add colour and shading to the sculpture. The patina is sealed under a wax coating. This process usually takes six to eight weeks to complete and is carried out for each finished sculpture.