Lost Wax

Lost wax is the oldest technology of casting bronze. This practice, originating in the Near East and later known in Greece, China, Etruscan Italy, Benin, India, Thrace, and the West, remains almost unchanged for some 5000 years. Each of the bronze sculptures here are created directly with beeswax as a one of a kind piece serving as the unique model. After completion of the wax sculpture, executed in optimal thermal conditions so to soften the natural wax and make it workable, the piece is plastered in several layers with a foundry ceramic mix. The result, called ceramic shell, is cured in a kiln; the wax melts and disappears and thus becomes “the lost wax” (or “cire perdue” in French). The beeswax sculpture has therefore evaporated and has left only cavities/hollow spaces leaving its print within the ceramic shell. Separately the bronze is melted, with a touch of aluminum for adding plasticity, and with a singular pouring feeds the optimally heated ceramic shell (so it does not cool fast the flowing metal). This risky process (for there is no model or copy of the sculpture left: the evaporated beeswax sculpture had served as the only model) is tedious, and often unpredictable so as the degree of which the molten metal reaches all and even the tiniest cavities of what was formerly wax remains unforseeable. Upon finish no welding is involved. Thus a unique piece, where no multiplication is possible, is made.