There are two forms of bronze sculpture making that are prominent in the history of artistic production in the 18th century. These were both done by hand and were used to create art pieces for decorative purposes only. Bronze sculpture is generally considered a harder form of casting than cast aluminum or nickel bronze, but it can be as hard as copper. Bronze was first used for things like bowls and drinking vessels, but later it was used for more ornamental pieces. Examples of these more decorative uses include fish statuettes, garden statuettes, mannequins, candle holders, and candle making mugs.
The process of bronze casting starts by forming a solid piece of metal into the form of a mold. The mold is then heated until it reaches the critical point of being completely malleable, at this point the metal is considered “malleable enough”. The next step in the process is to add sand to the mold so that the metal becomes a soft solid mass. After this step is complete, the mold is removed from the furnace room and is left to cool. This cooling process allows the bronze sculpture to become soft again, making it easier to work with during the next stages of the casting process.
Because of the difficulty of bronze casting, most bronze sculpture pieces are made from ceramic material. Ceramic items are usually hollow inside, because the traditional molding process leaves the hollow areas exposed. The advantage of using ceramic instead of bronze is that it is often more cost effective to produce. Another advantage is that the manufacturing process is less time consuming, and the finished product will have a professional finish that is durable. The downside to using ceramic instead of bronze is that there is a greater risk of breaking the ceramic during the finishing process due to the high temperatures used during the molding process.
Most bronze sculptures were cast in molds using molds made out of iron, because iron is the easiest material to work with when it comes to bronze casting. Castings from bronze were commonly put into molds over a fire, because the high temperature helped to melt the molds, but it also allowed the sculptor to control the thickness of the bronze mass. If a thin piece of bronze wasn’t enough to produce the desired result, then the artist was able to melt the bronze piece using a blow torch, or by pouring molten bronze into the molds until it reached the desired thickness.
During the renaissance, artists often made reproductions of ancient Roman and Greek statues. In general, bronzes were used for both religious and decorative purposes. However, bronzes were also used for sculptures meant to be carried as offerings to the gods. One of the most notable bronzes from the renaissance period was the Assumption of Virgin Mary, which was found in the Louvre in France. Some artists also reproduced famous paintings from the works of Michelangelo.
As previously mentioned, bronze casting is the first step in the creation of artistic masterpieces. Each individual sculpture has a unique mold, which allows the sculptor to determine the thickness and other characteristics of the final piece. The process of bronze casting is often used when building swords and other weapons, because the molds can withstand very high temperatures during the finishing process. This gives artists the freedom to create detailed, swords-like pieces without having to spend a great deal of time and effort on the actual shaping process. Bronze sculptures are often carried as offerings to the gods, or as a representation of the culture that created them.