The one thing that many artists seem to obsess too long over is trying to use cheaper metal. “How much less for aluminum?” or “How much less for another metal?” are common questions. Let’s do the math.
• Full size figure for mold, cast, and finish is about $20,00.
• It weighs about 400 pounds
• Bronze at $4.00 per pound is $1,600 of metal
• The metal = 8% of the total cost.
In the end, the amount you are saving is such a small percentage to the total effort you are putting out to create this work of art.
You cast your art in metal because you want it to last for centuries, so why go “cheap” and only have it last a few decades? Some other advantages of bronze is it is easy to weld, finish and patina. Though aluminum is a cheaper metal, it corrodes if the art is to be installed outdoors. Also, it takes a specialist to weld and finish aluminum and the finishes are more expensive, so you’ll be eating up any small savings you may have gained. In fact, often, you’ll be spending more in overall costs than if you elected to use bronze in the first place.
So, if you want to really save money and have your piece last more than a couple of decades, then bronze is the “value” material to use.