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  #1  
Old 01-12-2012, 01:41 AM
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hzjhds hzjhds is offline
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How we cast bronze “Fighting Typhoon”

Case Study: How we cast bronze “Fighting Typhoon”

Sculpture Name Fighting Typhoon
Artists Xiang Long; Yunke Qian; Cheng Zhu; Qingzhu Meng
Material Silicone Bronze
Measurement 16 feet tall
Casting Method Bronze casting as one piece

Background: Typhoon occurring in between summer and spring every year is very common in south east China. It’s extremely destructive like hurricane attaching Florida, US. This statue is for memorizing people who participating in fighting against typhoon and rescuing civilians in the natural disaster. The tense atmosphere can be clearly seen from this sculpture and you can view this statue from any angle you want. This is another feature of this work.

Production Process: it’s clear that this is a sculpture with complicated structure. It’s difficult to cast figures separately and assembly them later because there is no clear partition line between figures and partial casting could cause damage to the final visual effect. Therefore, we decide to cast this sculpture as a whole piece.

Here is the workflow:
Fiberglass pattern – Making silicone mould – Wax mould – Internal investment (refractory like plaster ) – Refining wax mould – External investment – Heating, Kiln burnout – Bronze pouring – Cleaning, sand blasting – Removing pouring system and casting trace – Finishing, refining – Polishing – Patination

The first step is to make a silicone mould from the fiberglass pattern. Duo to the size of the statue, we have to make separate silicone moulds according to its structure and add a plaster jacket outside of silicone. The purpose of the plaster jacket is to avoid silicone mould distortion. This is important because severe distortion may cause the wax mould parts can’t fit well with each other. After the silicone moulds are prepared, we create wax moulds by brushing hot liquid wax onto the silicone. Just like the silicone moulds, we create wax mould separately and assembly them together afterwards. Next, we work with artists closely to refine the finished wax work. One of the challenges is the work has to reflect the “muddy feeling” of those figure who were fighting against the typhoon very hard. To handle this issue, we come up with an idea: spraying a little bit of molten wax onto the wax figure. And, Bingo! Those figures now look muddy and tired. This small technique greatly captures the spirit of this sculpture.
After the wax mould is finished, now we do the investment job by applying refractory onto the waxwork. Duo to the size of this project, we spend total SEVEN days to burnout and firing. The pour is very successful and we got a beautiful look sculpture. The work of cleaning the refractory is worth of great attention because any carelessness would cause damage the sculpture finish. Then we cut the sprues (the pouring system) and refining sculpture’s finish. Previously, our engineer design those sprues at those unnoticeable places so this work doesn’t take long.
The hard part is patination, the artists spend quite a few time to figure out the “right tone” for this statue and we assist them do the patination with different solution. Finally, artists decide using reddish dark brown color and our patinar finish the job.
Hi guys, I’d like to hear your comments mu post and feel free to let me know if you have any question.
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Last edited by hzjhds : 01-12-2012 at 02:02 AM.
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  #2  
Old 01-12-2012, 06:42 AM
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Dries Dries is offline
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Re: How we cast bronze “Fighting Typhoon”

Impressive work just want to know how much bronze was used for the sculpture and did you cast all the bronze at one time?
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Old 01-13-2012, 01:44 AM
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hzjhds hzjhds is offline
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Re: How we cast bronze “Fighting Typhoon”

Hi Dries, we use eight crucibles simultanaously to melt around 9000 pounds of bronze for pouring.
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Old 01-13-2012, 04:34 PM
Sculptor7 Sculptor7 is offline
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Re: How we cast bronze “Fighting Typhoon”

Was the sculpture cast in an inverted position? Determining the sprues and vents on such a complicated piece must have been a daunting task. The cost must also have been considerable. The resin model used to create the mold; was that also cast or is that the artists' original creation?
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Old 01-14-2012, 12:46 AM
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hzjhds hzjhds is offline
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Re: How we cast bronze “Fighting Typhoon”

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sculptor7 View Post
Was the sculpture cast in an inverted position? Determining the sprues and vents on such a complicated piece must have been a daunting task. The cost must also have been considerable. The resin model used to create the mold; was that also cast or is that the artists' original creation?
Hi Sculptor, thanks for your interest.
Actually, we cast the sculpture in normal position (head to foot). Just as you said, the sprues and vent system is quite complicated to make sure molten bronze flow freely and full the whole cavity. Our engineer use the traditional way to design the sprues system manually. I heard that in U.S., someone is using an advanced casting emulation software to do this job. This would be great and i think it will become a trend. what do you think ?

As for the resin master pattern, the artists crate the same size caly sculpture and we cast fiberglass from it.
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Old 01-16-2012, 12:02 AM
KatyL KatyL is offline
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Re: How we cast bronze “Fighting Typhoon”

Impressive.

I'm making a silicone mold right now. I can't imagine one 16 feet tall. Maybe one day.
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Old 01-17-2012, 12:58 AM
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Re: How we cast bronze “Fighting Typhoon”

KatyL, we make silicone mold by pieces and brush wax on them seperately. It does takes a while to assemble the wax mold. Here I have a small tip for you, you can try to spray a little bit molten wax onto the wax mold to express the roughness of the sculpture. Previously the sculptor tried to reach effect on clay but it's difficult. The molten wax is a good solution.
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