Re: Bronze Clay?
Hi I think this may help - I found it on an old web site for Aesthetic Materials. The Fired Bronze Process was invented by Dr. Rand German, Penn State researcher and expert in the field of powdered metals, and Mark Pilato, bronze sculptor. Together they have explored and perfected the process of creating exquisitely detailed, solid bronze sculptures using powdered metals, binders, and sintering.
In this new (patent-pending) process, a proprietary feedstock of powdered metal and binders are mixed into a liquid, which is poured into a rubber mold of the piece to be produced. The mixture is allowed to solidify then the green piece is removed from the mold. (Green pieces can also be carved directly from molded blocks of the mixture.) After molding or carving, the piece is inspected, chased, and prepared for firing.
The firing method used in The Fired Bronze Process is known as sintering, within which the metal particles are heated to a temperature high enough to cause the particles to fuse with one another but not to melt. During the sintering process, the binders holding the green piece together evaporate leaving a piece that is solid bronze -- identical in appearance to foundered bronze. This process is faster, more energy efficient, and less damaging to the environment.
Because the piece can be chased in the green state, little (if any) post-sintering chasing is required. There are no runners or sprues attached to the piece, and surface detail will match the quality of the original mold. Green pieces can be welded, if required. Sintered bronze has excellent surface smoothness and accepts all patina finishes. The process causes shrinkage of about 5%.
Currently, the maximum height of pieces that can be made through The Fired Bronze Process is about 20"; however, the company continues its research and development, which will continue to increase the size of pieces manufactured.
The company employs artisans skilled in the production of rubber molds, and will also accept artists' molds, subject to satisfactory inspection.