THE CREATIVE PROCESS

 

"...Study, study, and more study, books, photos and most importantly, LIVE REFERENCE!


It is difficult to explain the exhilarating feeling I experience when I have an image in my mind and, with every application of clay, and every flick of my sculpting tool, a 3-D likeness of this mental image takes shape right before my eyes. It would be almost like a photographer snapping a once-in-a-lifetime photo to prove what he just saw was real; I've taken something completely intangible from my mind and it's now being created right before me! This is my reward for many years of hard work – and I relish it!" says Ken.

 
"Banking on It" Bronze"Banking on It" preliminary sketch

Ken with baby bear cubs

Ken with lion in the wild

The Lost Wax Process



Once a piece is ready to leave the studio, it is transformed into a limited edition bronze of the finest quality by the centuries-old lost-wax process:

Ken's works are sent to a specialized bronze art foundry where the painstaking process by which a high-tolerance cast is made will reproduce even the finest details.

1. A silicon rubber master mold is made of the original sculpture, producing an exact copy of the original.

2. Molten wax is then poured into the mold to form a series of hollow wax casts; each have a separate number with date and artists signature.

3. The wax replica is then carefully fettled and set up for casting - this critical step involves the expert placing of runners and risers - tubes around the shape which allow air, then wax, to escape from the mold as the metal is poured.

4. The piece is then subjected to successive dips in fine ceramic slurry which is dried between dips, building up a hard mold around the wax.


 

5. The ceramic mold is heated in a kiln, which results in the wax melting out, leaving a clean, empty cavity inside the ceramic mold.

6. Fine silicon bronze is melted in a super heated furnace, and then poured into the heated mold, filling the cavity.

7. Once cooled the ceramic shell is chipped away and the runners and risers removed. The bronze is thoroughly cleaned to remove all traces of the ceramic shell.

8. Once the piece has been completely cleaned, the surface is burnished to a fine finish. Ken inspects the bronze sculpture to ensure that it is an accurate replica of the original clay.

9. The final step adds a patina to the sculpture; the piece is then polished with beeswax and the limited edition sculpture is complete.

Ken meticulously monitors every detail during his final inspection.

Care and maintenance: No further maintenance is necessary apart from dusting and the occasional polish with beeswax or commercial furniture wax.
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