Bronze Masterpiece Statues of Hindu Gods by Bronze Creative

The Lost Wax Method Stage 5 Finishing the Bronze Statue
After the mold has completely cooled usually the following morning the piece is ready to enter the finishing stage of the process.  First the bronze must be released from the now burned, earthen mold.  A hammer and chisel are used to break open the mold.  The worker must remove all the excess earth that surrounds the bronze.  Using the hammer and chisel he is able to hammer out the earth that is baked into the hard to reach place like beneath the arms or between the legs.  When the worker finishes removing all the excess earth from the bronze what is left is a blackened basic outline of the bronze figure and separate base.  The separate base is then welded to the figure creating for the first time a rough outline of the entire piece. 

Using a hammer & chisel to remove the earthen mold


The piece is then given to another worker who removes all the excess metal from the piece.  They use a hammer and sharp chisel to physically remove the excess metal from the pouring mouth, the runners and any other excess metal that accumulated on the piece.  It is often times a very violent process as a lot of energy is need to remove the metal. 

Using a hammer & chisel to remove the excess metal from the sculpture

Each blow must be struck carefully as to not destroy the piece

The finer details are especially delicate


The piece is then given to another worker who files down the entire piece using a file.  The black and charred piece of metal transforms to a rough golden sheen.



Two workers filing and removing excess metal

The filing of the bronze


The piece is then given to another person who uses a small tool to scrap down the entire exterior of the piece.  The iron tool has a long thin handle with a small “L” shaped curved front.  The head of the piece is very this and flat.  This portion is used to move up and down on the bronze.  The edge is moved up and down the bronze perpendicularly.  This removes any irregularities on the surface of the bronze made but the filing of the previous step.  The color changes from a rough golden sheen into a bright, smooth bronze polish. 

The piece is usually braced with their feet so they can scrap effectively

The scraping tool at work


The scraped area has a shiny surface


The filing and scraping process of this stage is very long (taking days rather than hours), difficult and monotonous.  The following is how long the filing and scraping process takes;

5 days for a 12 inch bronze statue
12 days
for a 24 inch bronze statue
20 days for a 36 inch bronze statue
30 days for a 48 inch bronze statue
40 days for a 60 inch bronze statue
50 days for a 72 inch bronze statue

The previous steps of breaking the mold, chiseling, filing and scraping are preformed more by apprentices rather than artists as they are more menial steps.  The next step of chiseling the details requires a lot of skill and is therefore not performed by an apprentice but by an experienced bronze artist.

The bronze piece now greatly resembles the finished wax model.  The bronze statue has all the form and proportion of a completed piece yet lacks in the proper details.



The difference between the raw face and the filled body of the Nataraja is very obvious

The final artist uses multiple small chisels of varying size to carve the details of the piece.  All ornaments are carved out of the bronze.  The detail of the jewelry, the finer and toe nails, the crown  and the hair are all carved out of the raw bronze. 



An artist carving the finer details of the Nataraja

The half finished carving on the arch of the Nataraja
The carving of the facial features is the most important portion of this step.  A gifted artist can turn any face into the face of a beautiful or handsome god!

A fat face can be carved to be made thinner, a lifeless mouth can be made to smile. The carving of the face is the last step of the process because this step is where Life truly enters the piece and the bronze ceases to be metal and becomes a god.

The unfinished face of Nataraja

After all the filling and carving has been completed the base and the god are then joined together to complete the piece.  Thus the process is finished and a god is born. 




The artists join the two separate pieces of the base and the figure of Nataraja for the first time


The joined Nataraja with the base

Stage 1
Wax mold
Stage 2
Earthen mold
Stage 3
Melting wax
Stage 4
Pouring the metal
Stage 5
Finishing the bronze


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