The Alchemist Sculpture Foundry in Kalamazoo Michigan is owned by Brent and Brett. These guys really know the business of bronze casting and can do it all. I will show you the process with lots of pics.
If you want to know more watch the Utube video listed at the end of this article. I chose the video because of the narrator's cool accent. He sounds so enlightened and artsy!
Here's Brent showing a rubber mold. This is the first step in the casting process. The rubber mold is applied to the original sculpture and it is called the 'mother mold' which means it is the original and can be reused to make more of the same sculpture.
The hot wax is poured into the rubber mother mold and after it hardens the rubber shell is removed and saved. The wax is then examined before proceeding. Brent and Brett show the wax image after the mother mold cast is removed.
I worked on the wax to make sure the image was exactly right before the next step. I added and subtracted wax as needed. The sculpture was cut into 5 different pieces.
This is the Crucible. The place where the bronze is heated up to 2000 degrees (I think….really hot anyway!!) Brett is holding a brick of bronze.
The pieces are then welded together and polished so the entire sculpture looks seamless. You can't see where the sculpture was cut apart. Brent is using chemicals and fire to burn the patina into a small bronze sculpture that he designed.
That is it and now this sculpture, Rain, stands forever at the entrance of Mary Free Bed Hospital. Whew! What a job. I'm glad that one is done! Thanks to all the people that helped out with this project. See Chapter 4. I think there were over 20 of you. Next I'll post some new photos of Rain on site by Bob Pearson. We are waiting for the weather to clear a bit because there's over 2 feet of snow on the ground now.
Here is a Utube video that shows the bronze casting process. Enjoy!