Sunday, April 8, 2012

Revelation and The Tree of Life

It's been an incredible spring week in Kentucky. The locusts are now in full bloom which fills the air with a great fragrance. It has been so warm that we are already seeing fireflies and hearing Whippoorwills at night.

I've been frantically trying to finish this sculpture before Easter.

It is called "Revelation" and it is Indiana Limestone, 54" high by 40" wide and 24" deep. It has 4 different textures: polished, fork chisel, bush texture and natural rock pitch on the base.

I've recently received pictures of the Tree of Life commission that is being made at Art Castings of Colorado. This photo shows Rosalee and Mike pouring the wax into the molds. (photo Jeanne Toussaint)

This photo shows the wax being chased by Paula. "Chased" means that the wax pattern gets cleaned up after they are pulled out of the mold. A good wax pattern will give you a good bronze casting. (photo Jeanne Toussaint)

Then, the waxes get their sprues by Wendy. Sprues are wax pieces that become hollow after the wax is melted out of the refractory shell when it is hardened in the kiln. The sprues let the molten bronze flow to the sculpture forms. Some of the sprues act as "Gates" that let out trapped air and gases when the metal is poured into the hollow refractory shell. (photo Jeanne Toussaint)

The sprued wax gets dipped into a refractory slurry. (photo Jeanne Toussaint)

Jon and Jesse sprinkle silica over the fresh slurry. (photo Jeanne Toussaint)

This is the sprued wax with a fresh layer of ceramic shell. When the ceramic shell is fired in the burn out kiln, it will withstand the temperatures of molten bronze that gets poured into it. (photo Jeanne Toussaint)

...and speaking of trees... Here's a picture of a Free Tree (and by that, I don't mean free range). Someone has been mysteriously leaving things out at our front gate. First, some lawn ornaments and now a fruit tree. Strange, but cool.

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