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Bronze Sculpture

Bronze is the most popular metal for cast metal sculptures; a cast-metal sculpture of bronze is often called a bronze. Common bronze alloys often have the unusual and very desirable property of expanding slightly just before they set, thus filling the finest details of a mold.

Manufacturing Bronzes
The manufacture of bronzes is highly skilled work, and a number of distinct casting processes may be employed, including lost-wax casting (and its modern-day spin-off ceramic shell casting), sandcasting and centrifugal casting. In the lost-wax casting method, the artist starts with a full-sized model of the sculpture, most often a clay model. A mold is made from the clay pattern; a wax is then cast from the mold. The wax is then invested in another kind of mold or shell, which is heated in a kiln until the wax runs out. The investment is then filled with molten bronze.

Ormolou in Bronze Sculpture
Another form of sculptural metal art to use bronze is ormolou. Ormolou is a finely cast soft bronze that is then gilded (coated with gold) which results in a matt gold finish. ormolou was popularized in the 18th century in France and is typically found in such forms as wall sconces (wall mounted candle holders), Inkstands, clocks and garnitures. ormolou wares can be identified by their matt gold finish and clear ring when tapped, this indicating the underlying bronze as opposed to a cheaper metal alloy such as spelter or pewter. 

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