Friday, March 30, 2012

Duluth Public Art Faces and more

The female officers face

male officer

arm sections in the ceramic shell room with the first coat of liquid
The pictures of the faces are taken after the initial clean up and a quick sand blast. I'm pleased with how well the castings came out. The final 3 sections of legs are in the kiln and should be ready for a bronze pour tomorrow. The arms are in the first coat of the ceramic shell process.

Here at Last Chance Fabricating we use a product called Shellspen. It is a very good product and makes the process easier because we don't have to keep our liquid silica mix in constant agitation. I did this for a number of years with an elaborate mixing machine and lots of difficulty if the power went out.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Duluth Project Update

the wax heads ready for ceramic shell process

back of sections, the red wax, called sprues, act to channel the molten bronze to the pattern

the pieces after the first dip in the liquid silica 

second dip of liquid, allowed to drip off the excess

subsequent dips of liquid are followed by dry coats of stucco in progressively coarse grades  with 10 coats total

the completed refractory shells are now de-waxed, creating a cavity in the mold where the wax was

molds are placed in the kiln and brought up to 1800 degrees, that temp is held for one hour to vitrify the molds making them strong enough for the 2100 degree bronze

Man's face right after breaking away the mold

woman's face

It has been a busy couple of weeks around the studio. We have poured three times with good results in spite of having my pyrometer (used to check the temperature of the molten bronze) die on me. Other troubles have been four trips to the dentist for a problem tooth and infection and smashing my head on a sculpture resulting in a gash on my forehead. Just your average times at the sculpture studio.  I am, however, very pleased at the outcome of our efforts.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Ceramic Shell Molds

Here are 10 of the more than 30 molds we will need for the Duluth Public Art Project.
These are 3 leg sections (2 have been completed) and the badges and arm patches. These molds are half way through the dipping and stuccoing procedure. Next round of molds I will take a few more pictures to help explain the process.
When these are finished we will start pouring bronze and should be pouring twice a week for the next 4 weeks.