FMD#49

The individual sections that were cast in metal are now welded together. They hammered out the base that bowed in a bit with the casting and cooling of the wax so it is now nice and straight. This round “lily pad” that she is standing on is necessary because she is essentially standing on her right toes and there isn’t enough space for both the added internal support armature and the attachment plates to secure her to the plinth. The lily pad provides that much needed space for installation.

Fannie Mae Duncan life size sculpture in raw bronze before metal chasing ©Lori Kiplinger Pandy
Fannie Mae Duncan life size sculpture in raw bronze before metal chasing ©Lori Kiplinger Pandy

The photo above as the word “Blast” scrawled upon it in marker. This is referring to sandblasting to remove small bits of ceramic shell that may still be obscuring the recesses to clean it up a bit before chasing. As you look through these photos you may notice small pinholes or bubbles from the casting caused by small air pockets in the casting process as well as discolored areas and other small imperfections. These are all normal things that happen in the alchemy of creating bronze. Each step of the process has its own characteristics and look. The first step is the clay, a light-colored opaque surface that absorbs and distributes light evenly. The second process is the mold taken from the clay and then cast in wax, which is a very hard, almost black and highly reflective surface which looks quite different from clay. Then comes the shell covering the wax and the casting of the bronze metal, which has a completely different look. It can also be tricky to get the molten metal to flow quickly enough into all crevices of the shell mold before it begins to cool and thicken - making small and thin areas particularly difficult to reproduce exactly.

Fannie Mae Duncan life size sculpture in raw bronze before metal chasing ©Lori Kiplinger Pandy

The purse is welded onto the body so it is secure from accidents and vandals.

Fannie Mae Duncan life size sculpture in raw bronze before metal chasing ©Lori Kiplinger Pandy
Fannie Mae Duncan life size sculpture in raw bronze before metal chasing ©Lori Kiplinger Pandy
Fannie Mae Duncan life size sculpture in raw bronze before metal chasing ©Lori Kiplinger Pandy

Each section of bronze is marked with an identifying part number. There are many sculptors that are using the foundry to cast their works at the same time, from miniatures to monument sizes. The foundry is casting several different works at every pour and they have systems in place to be sure they can find and assemble the pieces correctly, using photos the artist provides them and referring to them as they work.

Fannie Mae Duncan life size sculpture in raw bronze before metal chasing ©Lori Kiplinger Pandy
Fannie Mae Duncan life size sculpture in raw bronze before metal chasing ©Lori Kiplinger Pandy
Fannie Mae Duncan life size sculpture in raw bronze before metal chasing ©Lori Kiplinger Pandy

As stated earlier, the purse handle would not have molded and cast well in wax or bronze so the metal workers have created the strap and are in the process of tack welding it into place and will continue to work on refining it as we progress - the first step of many in securing the purse.

Fannie Mae Duncan life size sculpture in raw bronze before metal chasing ©Lori Kiplinger Pandy

Areas that have been welded often have a dark and rainbow effect on the surface of the metal. Very shiny areas are caused by burnishing the welds on the metal back. Above is a section of the lily pad showing both the dark and rainbow effect caused by welding the two halves of the lily pad base together and the shiny section caused by the burnishing back and re-tooling of the weld area. All these variations in surface color can be distracting to look at but are temporary in the process of finishing the metal before patina.

Fannie Mae Duncan life size sculpture in raw bronze before metal chasing ©Lori Kiplinger Pandy
Fannie Mae Duncan life size sculpture in raw bronze before metal chasing ©Lori Kiplinger Pandy

The red arrow is showing some examples of pin holes. These will be filled in with matching bronze and retooled to match the surface area.

Fannie Mae Duncan life size sculpture in raw bronze before metal chasing ©Lori Kiplinger Pandy

Above is a closeup of the strap that the metal artisans are creating, complete with its own part number.

Fannie Mae Duncan life size sculpture in raw bronze before metal chasing ©Lori Kiplinger Pandy
Fannie Mae Duncan life size sculpture in raw bronze before metal chasing ©Lori Kiplinger Pandy
Fannie Mae Duncan life size sculpture in raw bronze before metal chasing ©Lori Kiplinger Pandy
Fannie Mae Duncan life size sculpture in raw bronze before metal chasing ©Lori Kiplinger Pandy

Surrounded by other sculptures still in the works and piles of mold sections ready to be picked up by their owners, the bronze Fannie Mae Duncan sculpture  will be taken from the staging area and worked on by the metal welders and chasers until complete.

Video provided by Art Castings in Loveland showing metal chasing on another sculptor’s work for an example of chasing the bronze.


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