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  #1  
Old 08-13-2008, 09:15 PM
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Scout Scout is offline
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First cast finished... thanks!

I have finished my first mold and cast. It is cast in composite bronze. She is 34" tall. I could not have done this without all the help some of you gave me as I worked. I am working on two other life size children. Both are molded and one of those is cast. I made lots of mistakes but I think the third one will be much easier and better.

I have not put on the green aging patina but I think I will. She looks darker than she really is. Bronze does not photograph well.

I have put black shoe wax on her... will it accept the aging solution now? Tell me what you think.

Anyone recognize the mess? Scout
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  #2  
Old 08-13-2008, 10:55 PM
winterhoof winterhoof is offline
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Re: First cast finished... thanks!

I don't think you'll get good results with a chemical patina applied on top of your wax, but all is not lost!

If you want to add some green aging to this, find some white shoe polish and some green chromium oxide dry artist pigment. The green oxide + whites can be brushed on *very* lightly and built up to look just like a natural bronze oxidation.

For a piece like this I think I would just use a small amount in the crevices and rub it back off the higher surfaces. With the black already on there, it would be very difficult to make the whole surface look naturally green without just getting a mess. That doesn't mean impossible, but I think a subtle approach is going to look better.

Good luck!
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  #3  
Old 08-14-2008, 06:38 AM
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Re: First cast finished... thanks!

Thank you winterfoot. I'll do some experimenting with that.

What should I have used? Should I have put the aging solution on first? Seems like it would be covered by the black.

Also the bronze keeps turning dark after I get a good polish on it. What can go over the wax?

All comments welcome! Scout
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  #4  
Old 08-16-2008, 11:24 PM
winterhoof winterhoof is offline
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Re: First cast finished... thanks!

Well, I can't quite suggest what you should have done since I'm not sure what result you're going after. If you want it to have the look of a naturally aged bronze, it should be pretty dark overall, with the green in the recesses.

I guess the sensibility behind a traditional look of darkened recesses and lighter highlights is that the piece is aged, but maintained such that the higher surfaces stay lighter. On bronze, you can use liver of sulfur, or some other chemical patina to darken the piece, and then burnish out your highlights. The tricky thing with resins is you have to expose enough of the bronze powder to get a good reaction, and that's hard to do in your crevices. That makes the black shoe polish a good substitute.

regarding your second question: unfortunately, that bright yellow look of freshly burnished bronze just isn't very stable. Probably the best you can do for your piece is to get it shined up and then cover the whole thing with a wax coat which you can then buff out. It will darken with the wax, and will continue over time, but it will be more stable than if it's just exposed to the air.

I would just use Johnson's Paste wax for this, it's cheap and it has a little bit of a yellow color that I feels helps saturate the colors on bronze. Carnauba wax might leave it a little bit lighter, but I'm not real familiar with using that kind of wax.

Or, actually, another option is Renaissance wax. I use this on pretty much everything for a final protective coat which also buffs out nicely.
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  #5  
Old 08-17-2008, 03:07 AM
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Merlion Merlion is offline
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Re: First cast finished... thanks!

If I can jump in to give a view on this. As this sculpture is that of a cute looking child, I would not give it a classical dark color. A shiny bright bronze metal color would be more suitable. If it is kept indoors, a coat of wax would make the shine last quite a while.
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  #6  
Old 08-17-2008, 06:41 AM
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Re: First cast finished... thanks!

Well, I have been experimenting with the finishes on some small casts I made. I came up with dark bronze, a coating of green age overall and a nice shine on the top ridges. Came out nicely but I can't get the same effect on the big ones. It just doesn't look like the little ones.

I think I will buff her up once more, put clear wax on it, then torch the finish a little to make the wax behave. ???

Thanks for all the help. I could have made lots more mistakes without you all.

I did Andrew and his Cats differently. I'll try to get a picture of him. Photographing them is hard.

How do you darken the recesses, get a good age on it and wax it too? Doesn't the wax take the green age away? And if I wax it first, it won't take the aging solution. I'm a little confused about finishes. Scout
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Old 08-17-2008, 09:56 AM
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Re: First cast finished... thanks!

Here is the second cast that I have going. The first photograph is just aged, the second one is a little shine I brought up. What do you think of the finishes? This one is "Andrew with the Cats" He stands almost 4 feet tall. Scout
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  #8  
Old 08-17-2008, 05:07 PM
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Re: First cast finished... thanks!

Hi Scout, I think you will not be able to tell how this really looks until you wax and buff. My bonded bronzes just come alive when I wax them (I use regular butchers block or bowling alley clear wax) and then buff with either a shoe brush (Lots of arm exercise) or a pneumatic slow speed buffer (I have a little 3" one for better control).

I apply a fairly thick first coat, and use a shoe polish brush after 10 to 20 minutes to lightly go over the piece. This spreads around the thicker spots and allows them to dry before buffing.

I buff to a nice shine (I like the look) and then let it sit a bit. The second and third coats are much thinner, as I do not want to dissolve the lower layers. The shine is nice, but not ultra shiny.

The reason I give three coats is to seal and provide a good barrier against oxidation from contact with air. I have not experimented with two coats, or more than three. One coat seems to allow the bronze to darken after a few months.

I love applying the first layer of wax, and buffing. For me that is when the piece just looks finished.

The cast looks really good. You managed to work through all the problems and got good results. You will find that every time you make a new sculpture you create a new problem to solve. It never ends, but I can tell you will have absolutely no trouble.

Another thing to remember when using patinas that are chemically activated is that they change color with time, unless you manage to neutralize the reaction and stop its progress. I think others here can help you with that, as I am not good at neutralizing chemical reactions.

Ari.
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  #9  
Old 08-18-2008, 06:22 AM
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Re: First cast finished... thanks!

Thanks Ari. I'll have to buff her.

I didn't know you had to de activate the aging solutions. Scout
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  #10  
Old 08-18-2008, 07:05 AM
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Re: First cast finished... thanks!

Hi Scout, I would check how each one works.

I used one with lots of studio lighting and got what I thought was a very nice bluish patina. I took it to the gallery and with their light it looked like a blue neon sign :-D

What a surprise! I did not hear the end of that one for a long time. Over the next several months, the blue neon color became much more subdued and it turned out quite nice.

I do not know enough about these chemicals to help, but I know some of the other members seem to have chemistry degrees and could help a lot. If I get a chance I'll read about this in some of my patina books.

I have some of my greenish patinas applied over bronze (Bonded) that lightened and then must have finished reacting because they have been quite stable for several years. These were unsealed, so have constant contact with air / humidity.

Ari.
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