Paul Kennedy Studio
Our foundry and studio is dedicated to helping artists translate their art work into bronze.
Our team are experts in all stages of the casting process and are here to assist and help you.
This is the initial stage of bronze casting. A silicon mould is created from the artists original sculpture which is normally in clay. This picks up all the detail down to the finger prints and allows for the artist to create an edition from one mould.
2.Wax and running system
From this mould a wax replica is created by pouring molten wax into the mould and allowing it to cool. A system of wax rods are attached to the sculpture and a pouring cup which will allow the molten bronze to flow in and fill the sculpture.
The wax with its running system is then covered in a slurry and then coated in ceramic grain. This is repeated after each layer has dried until the shell is strong enough for the molten bronze to be poured into it.
The wax then has to be removed from inside the ceramic shell that now coats it. This is done by heating the shells to 100 Degrees Celsius to allow the wax to melt and flow out leaving a void inside of the sculpture and running system.
This is the most exciting and dramatic part of the whole process. The shells are put into a kiln and cured at 850 degrees while the crucible is used to hold the bronze inside the furnace. The furnace heats the bronze to its melting point and then the red hot shells are taken out of the furnace with the pouring cup upwards. The molten bronze is then poured into the shells filling them to the top. The bronze pushes into every detail of the shell and then contracts as it cools extremely quickly.
6.Fettling and chasing
Once the shells have cooled they are broken open to reveal the bronze sculpture. The running system and pouring cup is then carefully cut off and then the work of the chaser starts. The chaser will use different metalwork techniques to finish the sculpture. Larger sculpture are cast in sections and the chaser will weld these together.
This is an ageing technique using a range of salts, chemicals and heat to accelerate the natural process. A wide range of effects and colours can be created and sample plates are used to help the artist decide on the most suitable one for their sculpture. Once the patina is applied, renaissance wax is used to protect and enhance the patina from the elements.