Most collectors begin their art adventure collecting paintings. Once they have been bitten by the joy of collecting, they begin looking at other forms of art, including bronze sculpture. For those considering a bronze work, it is important to know what to look for in terms of both quality and the kind of prices you can expect to pay.
Fine bronze sculptures require a great deal of artistic skill and are highly prized by collectors and museums around the world. They display beautifully in any living environment or garden. The strength and durability of bronze means it resists the elements extremely well. Bronze also has the ability to capture fine sculptural details, much better than rougher materials such as stone.
The ancient Greeks were the first to create statues in bronze, and the recipe for the metal has changed little into modern times. It is typically 90 percent copper and 10 percent tin. In spite of the durability of bronze, most of the ancient works have not survived; because of the great strength, bronze statues were often melted down to make weapons during periods of war.
The process of creating bronze sculptures is extremely time-consuming and demands years of training. The method of casting is known as “lost-wax.” The original sculpture is created using wax or clay and the center is filled with wax to increase the strength of the mold. After the wax hardens, the cast is covered in a ceramic solution and sand. This toughens it further, after which the wax on the inside is melted away.
Once the mold dries, it is ready for the bronze, which is poured inside the cast. When the bronze hardens, the cast is shattered and discarded. Finally, the sculptor adds a patina which involves the application of chemicals that react with the metal. The artist heats the surface with a blowtorch to create the color and tones desired.
“Toot,” Paul B. Lotz
10″ x 12″ x 20″