Sugar Babe life-size bronze foal by Heather Jansch


"Sugar Babe" the bronze at The Eden Project.  For sale. 

A perfect scale for small town gardens. 

Making Fine Bronze.

Producing fine bronzes is a centuries old process where artist and artisan combine their skills to produce bespoke art works of museum quality.


Original sculpture for casting may be made from anything strong enough to withstand being coated with liquid latex.  

Jansch’s highly complex originals require multiple moulds which individually can be likened to the separate halves of a walnut shell. The sculpture is photographed and then de-constructed, each piece of wood is photographed and numbered before returning to the artist for rebuilding. 

The rebuilt original goes back to the foundry and serves as a touchstone   



The moulds are destroyed after the specified limit has been reached.   Each bronze will have the edition number shown on it next to the artist’s signature e.g. number one of twelve will appear as 1/7 number two as 2/7 and so on.



The individual pieces of wood are painted with liquid latex containing an accelerator, until it is several millimeters thick and has become semi rigid when it is peeled off.  



Liquid wax is painted onto the inside of the mould shell until it is several mil thick. The latex is then peeled off .

The two wax halves are stuck together and wax “straws” (solid stick of wax ) are added to act as breathers to allow for escaping gagses. Next a larger wax funnel is added to receive the pour of molten bronze. 



The Young Arabian life-size bronze horse edition of 5 by Heather Jansch


The Young Arabian 




the original Young Arabian and the bronze


Most bronzes are hollow.  To achieve this small ceramic granules are poured down the funnel before the whole thing is encased in Plaster of Paris, a process known as investing.



The first stage of firing. The wax, encased in plaster, is put into the furnace where it quickly burns off leaving a cavity ready to be filled with the molten bronze. 



Chunks of solid bronze are put into a crucible and placed in the furnace to be heated until molten. The pour happens fast whilst the bronze is hot enough to pour easily, a skilled team make it look almost leisurely like a Pas de deux. Once filled the whole is set to one side to cool. The bronze emerges dusty white from the plaster and has branches sticking out all over the place where the wax “straws” or “breather tubes were.



After the branches are cut off the bronze pieces are ready to be jet washed or sandblasted to remove the last bits of plaster lodged in any crevices.




The clean bronze pieces are welded together with the original driftwood touchstone standing  to one side to ensure accuracy. There is always some shrinkage with bronze this is what makes each one of the edition subtly different and a truly bespoke item overseen by the artist.  




After the welding a wide variety of hand tools are used to work the surface of the welds until they cannot be distinguished from the rest of the bronze. 




The final stage. An enormous range of colours is possible are possible using heat and different acids of varying strengths to activate a chemical reaction with the component parts of the bronze.  The whole bronze is then coated with wax to seal the surface.





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