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The foundry is the most important player when a sculpture is going to be bronzed. The artist must have confidence that the foundry’s personnel are capable of duplicating the original clay or wax piece. Most figurative pieces are cut into sections in order to produce a latex rubber mold. The new wax pieces then have to be assembled by foundry personnel into the original sculpture. In most cases the artist will have to make adjustments. Once the artist okays the piece it is then cut up and reconfigured with gates and sprues that form the passage way for molten bronze to flow. Gates and sprues are like wax spaghetti and have to be strategically attached to all the sections of the sculpture so that the molten bronze can flow by gravity. A concrete-like mold is then built around the piece and when hardened it is placed in a furnace to melt out the wax, i.e. “lost wax” method. Molten bronze (2200 degrees F) is then poured into the mold and fills the voids left by the hollow negative. When the cast is cooled it is broken apart. Using welding torches the bronze pieces are separated from the gates and sprues and reassembled, a process known as chasing.

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