The title plate for the upcoming sculpture, All Horizons Lost, Flesh Forever Found, is 13.5" long x 1.25" wide x .25" inches in it's bronze state. The length and relative thinness of the plate made it difficult to realize in metal using the techniques available to me at the foundry. My first attempt left the plate warped and twisted beyond saving. For the second try, I waxed an 1/8" piece of basswood to the back of the wax pattern plate, making it thicker and giving the pattern rigidity. I knew I would have to grind it all off later, but it made a huge difference in how the second title plate came out. As always, my apologies for the cat hair.
The front title plate took me three tries to get a good casting, but the bronze title and name plates for the upcoming piece The Ephemeral Knot are finally done. On either side of the plates are castings of human finger bones, specifically that of a fourth proximal phalange. The bronze has been heated in a kiln up to 1100 degrees, which gives it a black patina. This is then rubbed off in areas to get back to bronze. I applied the final coats of protective finish yesterday.
It was great to be outside in a sunny warm Spring evening opening the mold for the plates for The Ephemeral Knot and All Horizons Lost... But as soon as I started removing the investment, I knew my pieces were in trouble. Maybe the metal was poured too hot, maybe my investment mix wasn't right, but there was an astounding amount of flashing. Some of the castings can be salvaged, but some will have be redone.
Below are pictures of the last bronze pour at the University of Wisconsin foundry. I poured my investment mold for the title plates of The Ephemeral Knot, and All Horizons Lost, Flesh Forever Found, as well as a few other waxes for future pieces. Observing this time was a group from a local high school.
A sprue tree recently completed. Title and back plates for an upcoming large bronze sculptural piece entitled All Horizons Lost, Flesh Forever Found. Also the remake of The Ephemeral Knot title plate, and some other wax objects for future pieces.
I was a bit worried about how the arm would turn out because of how much bronze was used. If a metal sculpture is too thick, the cooling process can cause cracks or collapsing. Prior to investment, I thinned out what wax I could from the underside, but much of the sculpture had to be thick for future tapping and bolt placements. But everything formed well, and I'm really pleased with the level of detail.
This will be my largest bronze sculpture as of yet, although there are larger ones to come this year. The brush on rubber mold with plaster mother mold worked beautifully, and I got a usable model on the first wax pour. The mold is going to be poured in bronze soon, and I'll be heading into the foundry this weekend to see how the piece looks.