The following is the step by step process of the
“Lost Wax Casting” method. After reviewing this
process, which normally takes approximately 3
to 4 weeks to complete a single sculpture. There is
a lot of time and labor involved in each piece, each
bronze is hand finished once in wax and then again
in metal. It takes very skilled artists to complete
this process, there is a great misconception that
bronze is just poured into one mold and then you
have a product this is the furthest from the truth.
To learn more about this in depth process please
read below or watch the video at the bottom of the
Note: There are those that claim
22 to 30 steps in the lost wax casting process, this
process can be broken down into over a 100 steps if
you want to get technical about it. We try to keep
simple and easy to follow.
STEP 1 Making the Mold:
This step is by far the most
critical. All the detail which appears on the sculpture must be captured
in the mold. The mold (depending on the size of the sculpture) is cut
into sections for casting.
STEP 2 Making the Wax Casting:
Molten wax is poured
into the mold to form layers of wax. This wax model is an exact duplicate
of the original casting.
STEP 3 Chasing the Wax:
The wax is pulled from the
mold and hand chased (re-detailed) by a skilled artisan. Although the
artist reproduces the original artwork, each piece may slightly differ
from the next.
STEP 4 Spruing:
Wax rods (gates) and pouring cup are
attached to the wax casting in just the right positions. This will assure
a full pour.
STEP 5 Casting the Ceramic Mold (Investment Casting):
a temperature controlled climate of 72 degrees Fahrenheit, the wax casting
is dipped into Investment liquid several times. On the first dip a fine
powder is applied. On the next dip of course, ceramic sand will be applied.
This step is repeated several times, each increasing the coarseness of
the material to create the ceramic mold. Between each dip, the ceramic
layer must cure (dry) before another layer can be applied.
STEP 6 Burn-Out: The ceramic shell is placed in a kiln
and fired. The shell bakes and the wax is melted (lost) from the shell.
This creates a hollow ceramic shell mold. Thus the term “Lost Wax.”
STEP 7 Casting:
The ceramic shell (mold) is removed
from the kiln and immediately the molten bronze is poured into the shell.
At the time of pouring, the bronze is 2100 degrees Fahrenheit.
STEP 8 Break-Out:
After the casting has cooled several
hours, the shell is carefully broken away leaving the unfinished bronze.
STEP 9 Sandblasting:
Any fragments of the ceramic shell
are removed by sandblasting. The sculpture is also carefully inspected
at this point.
STEP 10 Assembly:
At this time all the pieces of the
sculpture are welded together by our skilled craftsman.
STEP 11 Chasing: All the weld marks are chased and
STEP 12 Glass Beading: This is similar to sandblasting.
The glass is extremely fine to ensure an even bronze finish.
STEP 13 Polish:
The raw bronze sculpture is now hand
polished in preparation for the patina.
wonderful video shows the complete process of the
true and traditional lost wax casting process from
start to finish. This
complete process takes 20 to 30 days and requires a
massive amount of labor, energy and resources from
start to finish.
It is commonly thought that bronze sculptures are
simple to make and all that is required is hot
molten metal that
is poured into a mold. This video gives a great
example and is a great educational tool. This gives
understanding and respect for the entire process to
get to the final product or finished bronze using
the traditional lost wax casting process.
special thanks to AP Casting - bronze
sculpture art gallery in Israel
for this great video
Secure, Friendly in-person ordering. Toll free at 1-800-664-4034