I always say the worst part of my work is cleaning up the bronzes after I have poured them. It is loud, dirty, grinding work and I can’t even listen to books on tape!
But on the bright side, it brings me to the end of a several week process of sculpturing, making molds, cleaning waxes, making more molds and pouring bronze. So I finally get to see the finished product.
I have a tendency to put this part off, but as I have no heat in my foundry, this latest Polar Vortex has left me unable to do much else. It is very hard to work wax with gloves on, and the mold material would freeze so I can’t even mix it up! Hence, I am getting caught up on all the bronzes that have not gotten their polish. If only I could keep my toes from going numb. . .
Here are a few of the pieces I sawed, polished and patinaed this week:
Hey, I’ve been working furiously to get some pieces finished before the shows start again for the fall. I have three coming up before the middle of October. They are the Tennessee Crafts Fall fair (a first-time for me!) in Nashville Sept. 26-28; The Pink Palace Crafts Fair in Memphis Oct. 10-12, and the SACA Family Weekend Fair in Sewanee on Oct. 18.
For the first time ever, I’ll be showing at Tennessee Craft’s (formerly TACA) fall fair. See you there, September 26-28, in Nashville, TN’s beautiful Centennial Park. And don’t forget to check out the exhibits in the Parthenon while you’re there.
The graduation fair in Sewanee last Saturday was my last show for awhile. It was great to see all the familiar faces and many new ones. Now I’m trying to get new work to all my galleries and finish up some commission pieces.
Summer is a great time to stay away from the furnace, but I’ll still be doing a few early morning pours and some new sculptures. If you have suggestions for sculptures you’d like to see, let me know and I’ll consider them!
I have three shows coming up in the next month. I hope to see lots of friends at them and will have many new pieces of bronze to show. I’ll be in downtown Knoxville on April 24-27 for the Dogwood Festival Market Square Art Festival.
The first weekend in May I’ll be showing at the Tennessee Craft Fair in Centennial Park in Nashville, then May 10 I’ll be at the Sewanee graduation weekend fair in Shoup Park in Sewanee.
I promised some videos of the lost wax process, so here goes:
This is the process of dipping the wax patterns (sculptures put onto a sprueing system–pathways for bronze to enter and gasses to be released). The process involves coating the pattern with a silica-based slurry, then covering the wet surface with sand. After it dries the process is repeated five or six times to build up a ceramic shell.
The next step is to burn the wax out of the mold, leaving a hollow shell:
After that I melt the bronze and pour it into the ceramic shell:
I’ll try to get videos of other parts of the process (oh, yes, there are lots more!), eventually.