The Art of Bronze and creating our distinctive decorative fashion canes
The heads are first sculpted in a clay-like modelling material. When completed they are taken to the foundry to be cast using the lost-wax process.
A silicone rubber mould is made from the original artwork so that every detail is captured.
For every bronze that is cast, a hollow wax replica is made from this master mould. This creates an exact wax copy of the original. Sprues and vents are attached to the wax replica. These act as channels through which the molten bronze will flow and at the same time, allows air to escape.
A wax cup is added through which the bronze will be poured. Sometimes a wax ‘tree’ is created so that several heads can be cast at the same time.
The whole thing is then encased in a ceramic shell, a process called ‘investment’. It is placed in a kiln to melt and remove the wax and harden the shell. This is where the term ‘lost wax process’ originates.
Molten bronze is poured into the cavity that is left. When cooled, the shell is removed to reveal the cast object with all the sprues and vents still attached. They are now also cast in bronze so must be cut off from the sculpture and the areas where they’ve been joined must be repaired. All surface details are re-instated by hand and any imperfections in the cast are made good so that the cast will match the original sculpture created by the artist. This process is called ‘chasing’.
Each ‘raw’ bronze head is then engineered to take our unique memorial /keepsake chamber before they are patinated.
Patination is achieved by heating the individual bronzes whilst various chemicals are applied by hand. The reaction with the surface of the bronze forms the colour. Once patinated the bronze is waxed and polished.
The various parts are then assembled. The heads are mounted either onto a precision-engineered coloured solid aluminium shaft or a craftsman turned wood shaft. A hand-polished collar is added. Depending on the shaft used, either a rubber ferrule is attached (on the aluminium shaft) or a brass ferrule (on the wood shaft).
The assembled piece is given a final inspection.
It is packed in a decorative box illustrated by Tricia.