Pouring the Bronze

The pouring of the molten bronzeThe moment of truth is the pouring of the molten bronze. Many long days of labor have gone into the sculpture before it gets to this stage. This is the moment that all of the efforts of the many artisans involved in the creation of the sculpture have worked toward. A good pour will result in a single bronze, a bad pour will yield a pile of scrap which will have to be re-melted and all of the efforts of everyone involved are lost. An almost solemn reverence is associated with the final pouring of the bronze. The furnace is fired and the crucible is heated to a glow. The copper and other metals are placed inside of it.  Each foundry had its own formula for bronze and many of the the individual artists had their own ratio of metals that they used for their sculptures.  The furnace roars and the molten metal pops and emits sparks as the separate metals combine into that special alloy known as bronze.  This is a scene that has changed little in 4000 years and the knowledge of this is inside of everyone who is involved.  In the  other stages of the process it is usually a single artisan working alone on the sculpture.  The pour requires the combined efforts of all of the most talented individuals in the foundry and usually involved the artist's presence as well.  One mistake, one miscalculation, one error of judgment will result in the loss of the sculpture and everyone's work. Worse yet is the possible loss of the foundry itself if the crucible gets loose and the molten metal flows across the floor.  Many foundries have been burned to the ground because of one misstep by the crucible handlers and many foundry men have been horribly disfigured by coming into contact with the 7000 degree molten metal.

[ Previous Page ]
[ Start ]
[ Next Page ]