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Lost wax Ceramic Shell

Bronze Casting

Bronze Statues, public monuments, artworks

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Here at the A4A studio foundry we cast bronze sculpture using the lost wax ceramic shell casting technique.We can cast small objects solid upto over life size hollow castings. Statues are our speciality, we mainly cast our Directors work, the master Sculptor John McKenna. His work is mostly in the public domain as statues and relief friezes in cast bronze. We also undertake lost wax bronze casting for other Scottish artists, including, Lucianne Lasalle, Billy Teasdale, Angela Hunter, Dan Hughes McGrail, Jephson Robb, David Harding, Marieke Sijbrand, Meis Murphy, Charles Diaper, amongst others.

The Process of lost wax casting starts with an artwork, if its a clay, stone or wooden sculpture it needs to have a mould made from this original artwork. From the flexible rubber mould a wax impression of the sculpture is made.This wax is invested into a ceramic refactory mould, by repeated dipping into a ceramic slurry, then stuccoing a layer of mullite (a ceramic material) onto the slurry and drying this coating. This process is repeated, each layer of stucco is dried out, eventually thickening up to for a refactory ceramic shell. This shell, being a refactory material can withstand very high temperatures and thermal shock. the term comes from when the wax impression inside the shell mould is burned away, that is lost. Once this has been completed by heating the shell in a kiln and melting the wax away, it leaves behind a void where the wax impression was. Into this void the molten bronze is poured and when cool the ceramic shell can be broken off to reveal the casting. The Cast Bronze can then be lightly bead blasted to clean its surface and give a light 'tooth' to its surface which allows the easier application and better adhesion of chemicals which are used to colour or 'patina' the bronze surface.

Contact us if you wish us to cast an artwork for you.

Site design by John McKenna, last update January 2014, ©copyright of John McKenna sculpture Ltd

A4A Art for Architecture & JohnMcKenna Sculpture Ltd, High McGowanston Studio, Turnberry, Girvan, Ayrshire, Scotland KA26 9JT Tel 01655 332215 http://www.a4a.co.uk

wax copy with sprues of the Auchengeich miner before bronze casting at the John McKenna sculpture foundry
ceramic shelling of the Auchengeich miner before bronze casting at the John McKenna sculpture foundry
 the Auchengeich miner bronze statue casting on site created at the John McKenna sculpture foundry

Ceramic Shell 'lost wax' Bronze Casting, moulding and sculpture creation