Work in Progress
Below are in progress pictures of a life-size bust commissioned by a sister-city committee in California to honor a prominent businessman whose family emigrated to the United States from a fishing village in Sicily.
The bust was first sculpted in clay per the client's direction.
Sculpting in an oil-based clay allows for changes to be made as needed.
A rubber mold is then made to enable multiple castings to be made.
John Muir Award of Distinction
Below are in progress pictures of a 1/2 life-size bust commissioned by John Muir Health Foundation in Walnut Creek, CA for their annual Award of Distinction.
From the rubber mold, wax copies of the original sculpture are cast. These hollow wax replicas are then fitted with sprues and vents for "Lost Wax" casting - A process which by a wax model is dipped into a ceramic material repeatedly until a thick shell is created. The ceramic material is then fired at a high temperature that evaporates the wax leaving a hollow ceramic shell.
While the ceramic shell is still hot, molten bronze is poured into the hollow space left when the wax evaporated.
Ater the bronze cools, the shell is broken off. The bronze sprues and vents are cut off, and any mold lines cleaned up. The surface is worked to match the original clay.
Once the bronze has been cleaned and surface treated, it is ready for a patina (a process by which chemicals and fire adds color to the bronze). A clear wax is then applied to the surface which brings out the color of the patina, like water poured on a dry stone.