Jeanne from Art Castings foundry let me know that the sprues were being added to my wax Ascension today. So I grabbed my camera and drove down through the snow to get some shots of the process. Wendy was working on the piece as I walked into the sprue room. She showed me how she evaluates each section to envision how the bronze will flow into the cavity left by the wax, then creates different sized channels out of wax (sprues) to act as the funnel for the bronze to pour down.
It's amazing how much work and time goes into the creation of each and every bronze. This whole process is created for every one in an edition and also means that no two bronzes are 100% identical.
Once all the wax spruces are in place, Wendy adds a pipe to the bottom of the pour cup and takes to the slurry room and places them on tall poles called 'trees'.
Next John will take each wax section and dip it into a slurry mixture, let it drain a bit then take it to a sand box and shake silica over it. The slurry and silica are built up layer, by layer over a period of 1-2 weeks, creating a hard shell encasing the wax. They are placed on the trees to dry and harden.
Once the shell is complete, it's off to the furnace to burn out all the wax and pour the molten bronze.