Lost Wax Technique

Lost-Wax Bronze Technique

Lost wax bronze casting - pg 12Lost-wax bronze casting is the process by which a duplicate bronze sculpture is cast from an original sculpture in another media. The technique lends itself to precise replication, earning it the nickname “precision casting.”

Lost-wax casting is an ancient art, traced back to the Copper Age, and best known for being used in Southern Israel. The oldest examples were found in the Nahal Mishear hoard, dating back over 5700 years ago. Through the years, the technique has varied from culture to culture, and from artist to artist. It retains its ancient sources and fundamental process, though, down through the shadows of time, remaining a vital form of creating and recreating sculpture.

The McLeods are proud to carry on this tradition in their sculptural art. The McLeods use hand-building and detailing techniques to create the original clay and wax form from which the bronze duplicate is made. This gives them the opportunity to mould an original form with the malleability and warmth of these earthier materials before the final piece is cast in bronze. An exterior mould is made around the wax and clay. Metal is then melted in a crucible in a furnace and poured carefully into the shell of the exterior mould. The hot bronze solidifies with detail to the shape of the original sculpture as it cools.

The final result in portraiture is a likeness that radiates: metallic and resilient in bronze, but as human as the moulded clay of the original. The detail that the lost-wax technique lends itself to is ideal for sculpting life, either in the form of family portraiture or animal portraiture. The lost-wax technique can also be used to create outdoor sculpture or water features, thanks to the weather-resistant finish of bronze.

To find out more about the McLeod’s use of the lost-wax technique or to inquire about custom commissioned portraiture, feel free to contact the McLeods directly here.