Bronze casting on the cheap – No. 5

Resin mold

Not ready for prime time

You made the simple sculpt; you’re ready to cast, but, the budget says no. There is an option: resin cast.

The resin cast is less expensive because there is not any wax work, no investment shell to make, no bronze metal is needed, the chasing of resin is simpler, the final finish can be as simple as paint.

If you were planning on multiple copies you would have needed the mold. If you had sculpted in wax you wouldn’t need the mold. Cost: often on small pieces the mold for work is about the same as the metal work. It is a chance to see what the final piece will look like.

EZ-On has a plethora of how to videos to walk you through a simple mold making expercise. You can pour your of plastic resin, now you have a casting. Most foundries are more than capable of resin casting.

Like the results, ready for bronze, you have a reason to call the foundry. Want to save a bit more? Pour your own wax in the mold then clean it up to the point of gating ready. Talk to the foundry. Not all waxes are created equal. The waxes are meant to be burnt out in the investment process, thus, some waxes are better than others.

Realize there may be some trepidation by the foundry when you ask them to cast from a mold they didn’t make, or a wax they didn’t make, but with an expectation by the customer it will be perfect. Talk to the foundry and get them involved early. The foundry’s expertise can be invaluable.


Bronze Casting on the Cheap – No. 3

Bronze Star

Sculpting Texture
One thing that surprises many of those who have not worked on a bronze sculpture before is the cost impact of various types of texture you can put onto the surface.

On the artistic side of texture we know that it has a huge effect on the finished piece. Texture can create a dramatic emotional connection we all strive for but as a foundry it can create a large financial burden when budgets are tight.

The foundry’s metal finishers should be equipped to replicate textures that are created with standard sculptural tools. We have seen artists become enthralled with the texture they created by using the spork from the fast food restaurant down the street. Now there is a challenge; how to be able to replicate spork, then to do it within a budget.

If you want to create the foundry/artist working relationship, do not be afraid to ask. Communicate your preferences and ask them what theirs are. The foundry may steer you towards a quicker, easier or less expensive solution. The goals should be aligned in creating a piece that all the stakeholders proud of and that creates emotional attachment.