I am doing a series of cast bronze lights for netherwood chapel (www.netherwood.co.za) and took a trip to the foundry to check on the progress.
My items were unfortunately in a terribly unimpressive state – just the raw white moulds.
However, there were some items that were in the casting section – where the mould gets coated in this pink silicone rubber – to make the mould that will be cast. The rubber picks up all the surface details – which will be all the detailing made my the artist onto the beeswax model. Bronze casting is pretty much about positive and negative shapes – you make a negative with the silicone rubber, then you make a positive of that in wax. Then you coat that positive in a specific type of ceramic – that gives you a negative again. You fill that ceramic shell with the molten bronze. Let cool, and you have a bronze cast of the wax model, and a ceramic cast that you can use for any further additions. And i hope i got that the right way round?
Anyway, i thought these pink rubber silicone moulds looked like something out of ‘Day of the Dead’? But the pink makes them look like silly zombies.