Wax Modeling

 

The first step in the process is the creation of the wax model for the chosen figure.  The wax used is beeswax mixed with a local tree resin and coconut oil. A harder mixture, less oil, is used for the main body parts and a softer wax, more oil, is used for the small pieces like jewelry and other trim pieces.  A charcoal brazer(Shown in lower right picture bottom corner.) is used to heat shaping implements and small pieces of wax during the modeling process.  In the past all of these statues were poured in solid bronze but in present times pieces over 18 inches tall or so are made hollow as allowed in the body shape.  Typically the torso, head, legs and arms are the hollow areas.  This saves bronze material and also allows for a lighter weight statue economizing on shipping costs. The hollow mold is filled with a clay plaster mixture which can be poured, usually through on opening at the top of the head which is closed off after filling.  The picture in the lower left shows the copper pins which anchor the plaster/clay fill to the clay/plaster exterior mold once the wax is melted out leaving  an approximately 7 millimeter thick skin of the statue which the molten bronze will fill creating the finished form.  This concept is sometimes hard to grasp but hopefully the following sections of this process page will clarify.  For a more detailed description of this process with videos see  https://www.lotussculpture.com/photos.html?photocat=south-indian-bronze-artists

 

Molding

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Losing the wax

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Casting

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Rough Filing

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Final Detail Chisiling

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