I manipulate metals and minerals and bonding solutions in order to provoke emotional responses from people I will usually never meet. That which happens in the process some people call art. My talent for creating icons and illusions turned into a lifetime of manipulations... in various pigments, bronze and steel, some quite large, which loom in museums, schools, collections and public places all over Texas. Here on this blog you can watch my creative actions and insights unfold...

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The Frank Hamer Monument is in Pieces!

And that is a good thing. Here is the progress made on the sculpture in the past few weeks... As you will see, the bronze casting process is a hard, dangerous, hot, and demanding craft.

Here are some of the wax pieces of the sculpture, made from the rubber molds.
The hands have been faithfully reproduced in wax, and are now hollow. The red stands are actually forms for the funnels that the bronze will eventually pour through.
The waxes pieces are dipped in alternate layers of ceramic and sand until there is a thick mold encrusted on them.
Frank's head.
The ceramic molds are fired to melt out the wax, and then later heated right before the bronze is poured. This makes everything compatible. You can't pour molten bronze into a cold mold.
The foundryman is wanting everything, the bronze, the molds, to be around 1600 degrees.
A special thermometer is used to monitor the heat.
Stephen Zabel, owner of Omega Bronze,  fetches the HOT molds from the oven...
The fired molds are placed in a sand box to hold them in place for pouring. Now everything is ready!
Easy does it... One drop could burn right through a foot...
Cast in three pieces, the base with the feet has been reassembled.
Here the torso is being artistically finished, the seams between the pieces "chased" and the texture that was lost in the process re-established with the skills of an experienced sculptor.

It wont be long! The dedication of the monument has been set for March 2nd!

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