They sure are shiny. That is how I find every little thing wrong with them. Some things require digging a hole to exhume shell inclusion, then welding up the hole. Sometimes I find a bit of texture from the wax seamline that needs finessing, or air gets trapped in the hair and etc during ceramic shell and forms little bronze bubbles and worms that need to be ground out, or wax drips, or whatnots. Next I’ll weld stainless steel nuts up under the bases for when they get their wooden bases way down the road. As long as the welder is out, I’ll do a final pass of filling pits on the figures. Then a last chase, and it is on to sandblast and patina.
Bison Minotaur surprise: he’s holding a lightning bolt! This was an idea that could only come together after the four separate parts of the lightning were cast in bronze, then welded into place. The bolt is polished to a grey pad. After patina I will polish the bolt up again, and take a small buffer and rouge so it really glows.
I thought the partial backs had nice character by themselves. Next they are welded into place, along with parts fit the heads, legs, spheres, and arms of the larger male figure. The welds are ground down, and textures of hair and other details are ground to match. Next the grind is blended. After that it is time for touch-up welds, and grinding off all of the wax drips the foundry plopped all over the figures. Getting them perfect takes quite awhile, so there is still quite a way to go.
New School of fish that is. This group of three wax fish accompanied me to the foundry; over the course of the next while they will be followed by another seven fish. I spent all day every day for the last four days pulling four fish in various poses, reassembling them, and chasing them out. Only three came together in time for the trip to the foundry. Making each fish have a unique bend requires draping each side of the silicon mother mold over a curved surface and hand painting in 7 or 8 layers of hot liquid wax, then creating an extra section of fish to fill the expansion of the long outer curve, seaming the whole thing together, adding all the fins from their own separate molds, and making each fish perfect so that the foundry can cut them apart for casting, after which I will weld them back together, chase out the welds, and patina them.
I also brought down the mold for the wax stream/hoop that they swim through for the foundry to pull wax forms from, as that is just a straight wax pull.
All of this fishy business is for a new commission from the Redevelopment Agency of Salt Lake City. Along 2100 South, between the sites of the two previous runs of trout- the new school will run through the redesigned Monument Plaza in Sugar House. This is the best kind of commission: the client likes your previous work for them and out of the blue calls and asks for more to place in a great new location.
The foundry had these turned around in no time. Some of the pieces were still too hot to touch, as they had just plasma-cut them from the casting tree. Now I chase all the forms and prep all the pieces, then weld everything back together and chase out all the weld lines. They cast clean, so it should be pretty straight forward.