A brief explanation of the lost wax process

The original sculpture: The process begins with an idea that is translated into a rough, three-dimensional model. this rough model is refined until the shape is accurate and artistically perfect. The artist then completes the sculpture, usually using clay, wood, stone, wax or plaster.

The mould: A flexible mould is made from the artist's original using clay, rubber and fiberglass. These modern techniques and materials are able to capture every detail. The mould process can be lengthy.

The wax casting: Hot molten wax is painted then poured into the mould, producing all of the detail of the sculpture. Cooler wax is then added in various layers until a proper thickness is achieved.

Wax chasing (detailing): When the wax casting is removed from the mould, it is hand-finished to perfectly match the original.

Gating: Wax rods called sprues are applied to the wax casting to allow the wax to be removed and funnels called gates are attached to receive the molten bronze.

Back | More...
Photograph by Gina Taro