Lost Wax Casting

Lost Wax Casting Service

You are in the right place if you are looking for a lost wax casting service.

Before we go further, let’s discuss what lost wax casting is!

Lost wax casting is the process of creating a metal sculpture by casting it from a previously sculpted form.  The metals most often used in this process are silver, gold, and bronze.

This interesting term is also known as precision casting or investment casting and dates back about 6000 years!

The Indus Valley civilization, which was a bronze age civilization living approximately in what’s now Pakistan and India, holds the oldest known item as a result of this process, which is a bronze amulet.

This civilization was at its peak around 2500 to 2000 BCE and shows that the lost wax process is, indeed, an ancient practice.

The term ‘lost wax’ means that the wax mold is destroyed after the casting process in order to take the sculpture or item out. There is an entire step by step procedure that is followed when casting an item.

Check out the bronze sculpture of Admiral Chester William Nimitz, created by Rip Caswell.

The process of casting an item happens in what’s called a foundry.

If you are an artist looking for a lost wax casting service, you can find more information about our services.

Firebird Bronze - Wyland - Life Size Whale

Lost Wax Casting Foundry

A bronze sculpture foundry is a place where metal castings are produced. Before an item like a statue or sculpture is cast, there needs to be a pattern of it created or sculpted.

Clay artists, for example, can sculpt an item and then cast it into bronze afterwards. When the pattern is complete, a mold needs to be created. Sometimes, if the sculpture is too large, it needs to be cut into a few parts with molds created for each separate section.

If you go 100 years back into history, and visit a lost wax casting foundry, you’ll learn that doing any type of foundry work was dangerous and much more difficult than it is today.

Foundry workers were exposed to high temperatures, chemicals, loud noise and poor lighting.

Nowadays, it is much safer with more access to safe clothing and tools plus safety measures set up through the regulations of the Department of Labor.

In smaller companies, foundry workers are usually involved in most of the step by step process of casting, where in larger companies each step can be overseen by its own department.


Lost Wax Casting Factory

A lost wax casting factory is another name for bronze foundry.

Firebird Bronze is a bronze art foundry owned by Rip Caswell in the state of Oregon, USA.

There are various foundry services available at Firebird Bronze, some of which include mold making, bronze art repair, bronze art crating and packaging, and of course, lost wax casting.

The steps in creating a bronze sculpture using the lost wax casting method include first making the original piece by sculpting it from clay, then creating a mold for it.

After the mold is taken off the original piece, it is filled with hot wax that is usually heated to at least 200 degrees. Afterwards, a gating system, also called ‘trees’ is put into place to create channels for the bronze to go through when its poured in.

Each gating system is different for every sculpture. Next, these ‘trees’ are dipped into a ceramic mixture, creating, what’s called, shells, and coated with silica sand. This entire process continues for about eight to ten times.

Each time the ‘trees’ are dipped and coated; they need to dry out before the next round. This helps to harden and keep the wax enclosed in the ceramic shells.

The next step is to burn out the wax out of the ceramic shells. This is where the term ‘lost wax’ comes from.

Afterwards, the bronze is poured and once it cools, the ceramic shell is broken away, leaving the sculpture and its details visible. If the sculpture is large and broken up into each separate piece, the next step would be to assemble it.

Next, it is sanded and polished, and for the final step, the patina is applied. Patina is created by mixing certain metal salts with heat on the bronze, creating chemical reactions that each result in a different color.

bronze casting process

The experts at Firebird Bronze have decades of experience combined and are professionally trained. Rip and his wife Alison are artists that sculpt commissioned pieces and other amazing forms out of clay, creating some of the most incredible pieces of bronze art.

Many nature pieces created by Rip Caswell are placed throughout the cities of the United States. Allison has commissioned mascots for universities.

There are no limits to size and complexity of a project at Firebird Bronze. If you have a large project in mind, it can be customized and created to your expectations.

If you are an artist, sculpting or creating your art and want to turn it into bronze, aluminum, silver or gold, Firebird Bronze can accommodate that.

Restoration and conservation services are also available.