I discovered a product called Silver Clay (http://www.silver-clay.com/
), for jewelers, which is composed of 99.9% pure silver in powdered form, suspended in a clay-like binder. You model it like clay, then fire it at a low temperature in a kiln and the binder vaporizes, leaving only the silver. The object shrinks by 30%, so you plan your piece larger than you want the final piece to be.
I was thinking it would be a great idea if they made a bronze version of this for sculptors. You could model a sculpture, fire it like clay and have a finished bronze, ready for a patina, thus bypassing the process and expense of mold-making and casting. However, they don't make a bronze version of the product, so I'm wondering if I could make my own by mixing powdered bronze with a clay-like binder of some kind, or perhaps with a microcrystalline wax. If wax is used, the wax would burn out, leaving the fused bronze. Of course, it would have to be very well mixed so the bronze wouldn't be full of holes after the wax burns out. Any thoughts?