After dipping the molochite shells for a week, the shells had got to roughly 3kg for the largest. Although it doesn’t seem like much weight they are very large figures with only a small hook to hold them by. This made them very challenging to dip but very impressive to look at.
Unfortunately at this point my schedule got very disrupted as the extraction for the foundry failed, meaning any wax work, the burn out or the bronze pour got postponed. I was at a very critical point and to be able to finish the project on time i need the foundry to be functioning. Dallas the foundry technical demonstrator allowed and helped me to complete my burn out outside meaning i could continue on with my forms.
This is a process where the wax and molochite forms, get places upside down in a kiln and the wax is burnt out in to a pool of water. It cools allowing it to be scooped out from under the kiln.
Fortunately a few days after the burn out the extraction was fixed and i was able to complete my bronze pour. Another reason why choose to use a casting method for the bronze was the fluid act of pour the metal. The concrete and plaster were poured forms, its very fitting that the bronze is also a complete poured form, it is one entity rather than several pieces joined together. The fact that both object have a similar way of pouring to create them to me creates a more cohesive sculpture.
After the pour, there is a lot of work needed to finish the bronze:
- Angle grinding- cutting off the risers and pour hole
- Air pressure gun- sanding rough edges
- Dremel- sanding down smaller areas
- Hand filing
- sanding with sand paper
- polisher- buffing and polishing
- patinating – chemicals and blow tortch
- wire brush, polishing
This is a picture of Patinating bronze. I used sulphur nitrate in warm water and sprayed on to the warmed bronze, then heated again with the blow torch. I repeated this till it goes from warm yellow to dark. it is very difficult to burn the atina and the bronze in this process, so it takes a lot of concentration and knowledge of when to heat and when not to. I went for a dark colour so i could buff back the high points of the structures to catch the light but to also look slightly aged, I did not want to over patinate it will colours so its takes away from the fact that it is bronze.
I also experimented with cold patina which is where the chemical is put in hot water an applied directly to the metal there is not heating with blow torch. This method works for small area or touch up, but for the whole form i prefer hot patina.
I started off lightly sanding the bronze to catch the the texture and organic nature of form i had created. However, the contrast was to stark and i then went in with a brass wire brush to smooth the colours out and make it have more of a natural bronze look. Bronze is a versatile material and will pick up what ever colour metal you are applying to it so with a steel wire brush the bronze would take on a more chrome colour. I prefer the more golden tones of the brass brush, so i stayed with this tool and waxed the pieces to lock in the colouring.