Art Casting Information and The Truth Behind Artistic Casting

By: Kent Klein
Artcasting is an ancient method of creating statues and sculptures that has beenin practice in Meso-America, China, andAncient Egypt since 2000 BC. The Greeks practiced it, so did the Romans, andpretty much any civilization with a strong interest in art.Bronze is an alloy of tin and copper that has been used to make weapons andsculptures since its discovery by man. Bronze is able to fill in the finedetail of molds making it very desirable to artists. When art casting, bronzeis the alloy of choice since it is both beautiful and easy to work with. Thereare few examples of bronze statues left from antiquity since the alloy becamescarce and many of the statues were melted down for weapons and othersculptures usually for new emperors or victors. The Lost Wax Casting process is the preferred method used when art casting.This process was used in ancient times to create bronze items. Small foundrieslike the type found in backyards, personnel workshops, and garages are able touse the Lost Wax Casting process with a certain amount of professionalism.Commercial foundries and professional art companies use the Lost Wax Castingprocess as well to create custom items and monuments. The process remains,essentially, the same since the ancient craftsmen who first pioneered themethod. When used in commercial manufacturing or jewelry making, the Lost WaxCasting process is called Investment Casting.Art casting is one of the more enjoyable reasons to fire up the furnace and getinto metal casting.

While most think metal casting to be strictly limited tohobbyist and historical re-enactors, casting is a popular skill and craft usedby a wide range of people for varying reasons. Artists see the need to havemetal casting skills as it allows the artists to have direct control over theprocess instead of out sourcing it to a commercial foundry. Commercial foundriesthat specialize in custom pieces will often charge outrageous prices for theirservices. Art casting on your own is often times economical and just smart. The Lost Wax Casting process is rather simple when compared to other castingmethods but it can be time consuming and attention to detail is important. Theartists will start with an original piece sculpted from wax. The original canbe made of other substances like clay or even metal but wax seems to be theeasiest to work with. The original will be used to make the mold. If the pieceto be cast is large, multiple molds will be needed. This is common in artcasting and completely possible with the use of shims and keys that will allowplacing the pieces together after the casting process easier. Most molds willbe made out of latex or other materials to help transfer the fine detail intothe mold cavity. The original is often destroyed during the mold making process upon removal.Molten wax is poured into the mold until the desired thickness is achieved.?When dry, this wax copy is removed and chased which rids the piece ofimperfections and is used to combine the pieces.? You will place paths forthe molten metal on the wax copy.? You will also place a cup or funnel atthe top of the copy. This process is called spruing and is done in wax.A ceramic shell is placed around the copy. The shell isn't really ceramic but asand and liquid silica combination.? You will repeat this step until theshell is thick enough for the piece. You will then heat the item which willmelt the wax inside. The wax runs out of the shell through the paths placedduring spruing.? Then comes the part for the molten bronze. The bronze is poured into the top ofthe hollow shell. When cool you are going to remove the shell carefully?toreveal the finished product. The bronze sculpture is chased, paintedBusiness Management Articles, andfinished up however the artists choose.Art casting can be done with any metal or alloy. If you are going to use theLost Wax Casting process then you do not have to stick with bronze. Try othermetals until you receive the perfect look for your piece.

Technology
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 

» More on Technology