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The Lost Wax Process

The Lost-wax process, also called cire-perdue, method of metal casting in which a molten metal (Bronze) is poured into a ceramic mould that has been created by means of a wax model. Once the ceramic mould is made, the wax model is melted out and molten bronze is then poured into the hollow core.

The lost-wax method dates from the 3rd millennium BC and has sustained few changes since then. To cast a sculpture in bronze, a mould is made from the original model. Once the mould is made the inside of this negative mould is brushed with melted wax to the desired thickness of the final bronze. After removal of the mould, the wax shell has wax tubes, connected to it, which provide ducts for pouring bronze during casting and vents for the noxious gases produced in the process. Next, the prepared wax shell is completely covered in layers of ceramic plaster. Once dried and the whole ceramic mould is inverted and placed in an oven to melt out the wax.

The plaster mould is then packed in sand, and molten bronze is poured through the ducts, filling the space left by the wax. When cool, the outer plaster and core are removed, and the bronze may receive finishing touches.

Bronze Age Art Foundry Cape Town

It’s a pleasure to work with Bronze Age Art Foundry in Cape Town where I keep up with all the steps in the production of my sculptures and where I keep close relations with amazing professionals and human beings.