Bronze casting baby memories and keepsakes
Here at The Keepsake Company we offer the most gorgeous raised impressions which look like bronze casting. Hand and footprints are captured in a breath-taking manner but they are made light enough to be hung in a frame on the wall. A perfect gift giving the impression of a 3D bronze casting but at a fraction of the cost. We also offer the ultimate bronze effect 3D bronze casting baby memories and keepsakes. Did you know we were the first UK company to do this? What better keepsake could there be?
But at a fraction of the cost of a real bronze casting what is the history behind original bronze sculptures?
Lost Wax Casting
The art of lost wax casting is a true art requiring skill and training. The earliest known lost wax castings aer from the early Egyptians nearly 7000 years ago when meatl was poured intoa fired clay that had been shaped with wax that was melted or “lost”. Sometime between 4000 and 3000 BC bronze was discovered – leading to the Bronze Age.
Bronze casting has essentially remained the same for over 2000 years. Bronze is an alloy of 95% copper and 4 % silicon with 1% manganese with traces of other elements such as iron.
1. Original clay mould
Firstly an original sculpture is made using clay. (We do the same with our raised impressions! See our lovely pic!) Sculptures will use an armature – a support structure of wire or mesh for upright or particularly heavey pieces. Imperfections are smoothed out to reduce the neeed for so much work later on.
2. Making a mould of the clay original
A mould is then made of the clay original usng latex rubber. The mould is very carefully painted with 5 coats of this rubber over several days.
3. Outer jacket
To help the rubber mould retain a rigid shape an outer jacket of plaster is made ready for when the wax is poured in. The plaster jacket is called the mother mould. Once dry, the outer jacket is removed and the rubber is carefully taken away from the clay.
4. Wax Fill
Wax is heated to 220 degrees farenheit and several layers are poured into the mould to cover the surface.
5. Wax chasing
This involves cleaning up the sculpture to its perfect form – smoothing out any imperfections or air bubbles.
These are channels which are inserted into the mould which will feed the molten metal into all the tiny areas – think of how rabbit ear tips need to be perfected!
7. Ceramic shell
Time for yet another mould! The wax is dipped into a mix to create a hard shell.
8. Melting out the wax
This is the lost wax process. The shell is put into an oven called an autoclave and heated to 1800 degrees farenheit. The wax melts and is “lost”.
9. Casting the Bronze
Molten bronze is then poured into the shell at a staggering temperature of 2250 degrees farenheit! The ceramic shell is broken off and reveals the raw metal bronze sculpture.
10. Metal Chasing and Sand Blasting
The sculpture is finished to a smooth finish and is left looking as a true gold like colour in its natural bronze form.
The bronze is then heated with chemicals which interact with the metal and gives it that gorgeous bronze colour we are all familiar with. Getting the variations in colour is an art in itself.
A truly lengthy and skilful process to create real bronze sculptures. We love our own take on bronze sculptures with the effect of bronze casting. Baby and children keepsakes have never looked so good!
To see these products and more visit us at The Keepsake Company.