Sculpting - The Bronze Monument Process

The production of a monumental sculpture is a complex process involving the client, the artist, technicians and engineers. Here is how it is done:

  1. The client and Ian agree on the subject, pose, medium and budget.
  2. Ian researchs the anatomy and body language of the subject.
  3. Ian creates a 3D  clay model to try to capture the feeling of the subject.
  4. The client and Ian review the model, and Ian builds a maquette (model).
  5. Once the model is approved, Ian requests a development deposit. This covers the cost of Ian's time and materials, determining the necessity of an armature or engineering designs for the bronze sculpture, working out the mounting, casting, shipping, and installation costs, and drawing up an agreement.
  6. Upon signing the agreement, I request a further down payment, and my team and I build a full-sized armature of our design to support the weight of clay.
  7. We apply clay  to the full-sized sculpture, then apply the detail. The client reviews and approves the sculpture, and makes a further progress payment.
  8. My team and I make a fibre glass mold of the sculpture.
  9. The bronze foundry casts a full-sized wax and I inspect it to insure the integrity of the original has been maintained. 
  10. The wax is set up with a cup to pour in bronze, and feeds to bring in molten bronze, and vents to remove gases. It is then repeatedly dipped in a liquid slurry and sprinkled with sand, as a ceramic shell is built around the wax.
  11. The wax is fully melted out in a kiln.
  12. Molten bronze is poured into the remaining hollow shell.
  13. The bronze pieces are sand blasted and fitted together and welded.
  14. An armature for support is installed if needed, and mounting methods as the bronze is assembled.
  15. Once the sculpture is welded together, it is finished to match the original surface.
  16. The finished bronze sculpture is given a patina by applying several chemicals which give it a rich, robust color.
  17. The finished sculpture is carefully packed and shipped to its destination, where it is installed to the client's specifications