Wednesday, January 21, 2009

First ever bronze sculpture.

I went over to school at noon to be in on the pouring of the 10 molds that were ready to go. The forge had blasting away for four hours to get the 100 lb. of bronze in the crucible up to the ~2100 degrees Fahrenheit needed to get a smooth pour. They tested the temperature with a pyrometer and it needed to go up a few hundred degrees still so I went and glazed some pots for awhile. When I came back around 1pm it was getting very close, and the room was getting filled with eager sculptors. At 1:20 they opened the lid on the forge and swung the crucible out, and by 1:30 the pouring was done and the crucible cleaned and empty went back in the forge to cool down. By 1:50 I was able to help pull the molds from the sand pit, and by 2:00pm I was chopping my little dragon from the mold, still blistering hot I quickly brought him to the sink and quenched him in some colder water and worked for the next 45 minutes to remove the last vestiges of plaster from around the bronze. When you make a bronze sculpture, you need to add many extra channels for the bronze and air to flow smoothly to insure you get all your mold filled with no air pockets. This evening I spent 2 and 1/2 hours in the (noisy) cutting and grinding room to get the dragon to the state you see below. I still need to do a little more polishing, carve back in some details that I had to grind off due to imperfections in the mold, then I need to add a patina, and mount it to some kind of craggy rock.

From Crafters of Khnum

The camera was a bit funny trying to get good shots of this very shiny surface, but you cant get an idea of what it looks like. I'll try to add some better photos latter. I think Rane will like it. I'll show it to him in the morning.