Casting sculpture into bronze
Casting sculpture into bronze is a long and complicated process but for centuries it has been the sculpture material of choice for artists. How do you go from an object made by an artist in a soft material like clay or wax to a more permanent metal version?
Key Stage:KS3-4 Art and Design
Overview:This lesson can be used:
-to start a sculpture project,
-to foster an understanding of the link between discoveries made outside the arts, and artists’ practice
-to increase understanding of technical processes used in the production of sculpture over time.
Suggested classroom activity
Watch the short video about the bronze casting process several times and then task the students to find an object that is made using casting in or around the classroom. Ask them to attempt to explain all the stages of production beginning with the idea. This analysis can apply to any cast object from a one off sculpture to a plastic pen. Then get the group to discuss which of these stages they think need to be carried out by the artist themselves and which can be passed to craftsperson or a manufacturing company.
Sculptor Vanessa Pooley
Vanessa Pooley lives and works in East Anglia making sculpture that is cast into bronze. Because bronze casting is a time consuming and expensive process she has to decide which sculptures to invest in. Watch the short video about her work and ask the students to discuss why artists want to cast their work into bronze at all.