The Process of Creating Real Bronze Horse Statues

The Clay Sculpture or Model is Created

 

This bronze horse sculpture of a running thoroughbred stallion was first modeled in clay. The clay sculpture is supported by a pipe armature and aluminum wires inside the legs, head, neck and tail for support.

Beginning the mold making process

 

The clay version of the bronze horse is coated with liquid rubber and the rubber is allowed to set up.

Building up the rubber mold

Subsequent layers of rubber are added after each coat dries.  After the third coat of rubber, aluminum shims are added to allow the mold to be opened and the clay horse sculpture removed from the finished rubber mold. 

Finishing the Rubber Mold

 

Mesh fabric is embedded in the rubber after the fourth coat of rubber to give the mold strength, then more coats of rubber are added to finish the rubber part of the mold over the horse sculpture. 

 

Paper shims are added to divide the pieces of the fiberglass Mother Mold.

Building the Mother Mold

 

The fiberglass "mother mold" is then built around the rubber mold. This will support the rubber mold when it is removed from the clay sculpture.

A wax sculpture is created from the finished mold.

 

The finished mold is removed from the clay sculpture and reassembled.

Then, wax is poured into the mold and the hollow wax sculpture is cut into pieces to allow it to make a good casting. 


The wax is prepared for casting

A bronze sculpture must be hollow in order for the bronze to cast well.  The walls of the wax piece must be relatively thin, 1/4 inch or less.  In bronze casting, a thin bronze is a good bronze because there will be less shrinkage or distortion in the sculpture.  A good bronze sculpture casting that is thin reproduces the fine details of the artists original work without distortion. The wax pieces are then attached to a wax cup with wax "straws" or sprews.
 

The horse sculpture head is a hollow wax copy of the original clay model
which has been attached to a wax cup with "sprews" or "gates" which are solid wax straws.

The wax is invested in a ceramic shell

 The wax is then coated in slurry and covered with silicone sand, starting with a coating so fine it picks up the finest detail.

Building up the shell

 Later layers are a coarse sand to add strength to the shell.

Successive layers of slurry and sand begin to build a ceramic or "rock" shell around the wax.

The wax is melted out of the shell

The "rock" or ceramic shell that coats the wax sculpture is then placed in a burnout furnace where the wax is flash melted out and the shell is heated to about 1800 degrees. 

The bronze is poured into the empty shell

At the same time, bronze ingots are heated in the crucible furnace until they are liquid and also about 1800 degrees. The shell is then pulled out of the burnout furnace and placed in a sand filled cart which is wheeled under the crucible where bronze has been heated until it is molten. Then the liquid bronze is then poured into the shell. 

The shell is removed from the bronze

The ceramic shell filled with molten bronze is then set aside to cool.  
When it has cooled and the metal is once again solid, the shell is broken off to reveal the bronze sculpture.

The pieces of the bronze horse are welded together

The bronze sculpture pieces are then sand blasted to clean them, and any parts that were cut off to cause the piece to cast better are welded back on.

The metal chasing process

The welds on the bronze statue are ground down and then re-textured in a process called "metal chasing". The chasing process also removes small flaws from the bronze casting.

 

A final sandblast and check are then done on the bronze sculpture to prepare it for the patina or color.


The raw bronze horse sculpture is sandblasted and ready for patina. A bronze statue, if left in this raw state will naturally go darker and darker, eventually becoming nearly black or, if exposed to water, green due the the high copper content of the bronze metal.

Patina is applied and the bronze is sealed.

The finished bronze horse statue after patina (color) is then applied by the use of chemicals and heat processes to change the color of the metal, The finish is then sealed with a coat of hot wax, and the real bronze horse statues are mounted on a beautiful walnut wood bases.


Contact Us

Drop us a line!

Bronze Horses and Equine Art by Kim Corpany

P.O. Box 1254, Fallon, NV 89407, US

(801) 845-5168