Moulds for sculptures can be made from a variety of materials, including ceramic, clay, plaster, bisque and silicone rubber. Depending upon the sculpture to be produced, the appropriate material for the mould is chosen. Mould Making is a laborious and long process that can take weeks. It also requires expertise, experience and extreme carefulness in the handing of materials, which are often in their liquid state.
Materials for Mould Making
Clay – Usually, the original mould of a sculpture is created from clay, plaster or wax. Due to its plasticity, clay is the most common material used by artists to create the original model. A small sculpture can be made entirely in clay without the need for support, but a large sculpture may need a metal or wood skeletal to support the weight of clay. The artist creates this original mould in detail.
Plaster – The original mould can be created in plaster, or it can be made in clay and then cast in plaster. Since plaster is not malleable like clay and therefore difficult to work with, artists mostly choose to work with clay. Nevertheless, if a mould is to be created in plaster, plaster is poured into the clay model.
Ceramic – Ceramic is a relatively new material used in mould making. It began to be used to create investment moulds because it allows fine details to be added and is a more reliable material to cast average sized and smaller sculptures.
Other common materials for creating moulds are plaster, latex rubber and resin. A combination of materials such as sand and resin is also used to create moulds.
Mould Making for Metal Sculptures
Clay Mould – The traditional lost wax process is widely used for casting metal sculptures. This centuries old process involves creating an original clay model upon which layers of different materials, both on the outside and the inside, are added. The original clay model is intricately designed by the artist with all details that are to be present in the metal sculpture. Mould making through the lost wax process has a number of steps and takes many days.
Wax Mould – Wax mould is created by pouring liquid wax into a mould made of clay upon which layers of rubber have been applied. The wax mould needs to be hollow for the pouring of liquid metal. Therefore, only sufficient wax as to cover the inside surface of the mould is poured. When the wax cools, the wax mould is removed.
Ceramic Mould – Ceramic moulds are created from a mixture called slurry. A strong ceramic shell on a wax model is created by dipping it in ceramic slurry. The ceramic mould is then placed in high temperatures, which melts away the wax and strengthens the ceramic mould. Molten metal (usually bronze) is poured into the mould and left to cool. When it has taken its solid shape, the ceramic mould is broken and the sculpture is ready for metal chasing where it gets its details and finesse.
The process does not end with obtaining the bronze sculpture. Refinements are done to it through sand blasting and metal chasing to give it the smoothness, shine and details that make it a splendid, premium piece of art.
Choose AARNE For The Highest Quality
At AARNE, we use customised mould making to create unique, one-of-a-kind metal sculptures in bronze, titanium, gold, etc. Using modern tools, fine hands and the talent of our artists, we create bespoke metal sculptures for those who appreciate high art and premium artistry. If you are looking to get a rare sculpture for your home or commercial space, AARNE is where you’ll find it.
Depending upon the preference of the artist and the type of sculpture to be created, different kinds of materials are used to create moulds. The lost wax process is a fine example of how various kinds of moulds are created in a single process to create a metal sculpture.
If you have any questions or queries, or if you are interested in getting a sculpture manufactured. Please contact us using the contact form on the ‘Contact Us‘ page. Or alternatively please email us at email@example.com and we will get back to your enquiry as soon as possible.