Clay Mold - Aunt Marianne Labuche - Goes to the Foundry

Sculptor's Corner, July 2017: 
Florence Bird, sculptor.
The life sized clay sculpture of Aunt Marianne LaBuche has been taken to the bronze foundry in Milwaukee.
labuche Mold 2The photo left, shows the sculpture torso which has been covered with the  silicon rubber mold material. The bumps embedded in the mold are there  to register with the plaster backing which will be applied in sections to keep the mold firm. When this is done and all sections are complete they will be removed from the clay model and the sections will be ready for receiving  the sculpture wax.
The sculpture wax will be melted and poured into the mold sections to be  about 3/4 inches thick. These wax pieces will then be attached to sprues  (wax sticks) and mounted on a board. Then the wax section assembly will  be turned upside down and dipped into a ceramic slurry and dried several  times. When the ceramic slurry is dry with the wax inside, this will be put  into a kiln where the wax will melt out and leave the mold ready to receive the bronze. 
While the ceramic mold is in the kiln the bronze will be melting in a crucible  to about 2100 degrees Fahrenheit. When the mold is ready, still hot, and the wax is gone it  will be taken out and put upside down in a bed of sand ready to have the  molten bronze poured into the space where the wax had been. This  process will be followed for each section of the original mold. 
Then when all of the pieces have been cast they will be cleaned and welded together using the same type of bronze for welding rod.  unnamed (1)
When the whole sculpture is welded together it will be cleaned and the  patina (color) will be applied. The color is done with different chemicals  sprayed on to the bronze when the finished sculpture is warm and a final wax finish is applied to help preserve the color. 
The whole process takes months to complete and each sculpture is one-of-a-kind.
Following is the cost estimate (the actual cost may be a bit  different) for this part of making the sculpture: 
* Wax casting and finishing ———— —— $5,300.00 
* Spruing through bronze casting— ——— 10,300.00 
* Welding and metal finishing— — — — — 10,100.00 
* Patina ————————————— —— 1,300.00
                   Total foundry work— — — —- _$27,000
Shipping and insurance ——————— — —700.00 
bronze name plate —————————— —-600.00 
   Total shipping, ins. and name plate———   $1,300
Total needed to complete ———— — —$28,300.00