| Fine Art
Bronze Sculptures ~ Oil Paintings
Original - Limited Editions
|"Classics of Tomorrow . . . Today"
The "lost wax" method of casting dates back over 4,000 years, having been used by every
ancient culture. The original sculpture is modeled with a variety of materials – clay, wax, metal,
wood; but all sculptures start from an armature. An armature is a wire ( or steel) frame (skeleton)
that supports the molding materials. These materials are built up on the armature and then
artistically cut, carved, even smoothed away, forming the completed original model sculpture. At
this point begins the tedious"lost wax" casting process to transform the original model into a
masterful, timeless work of art - the bronze sculpture. This process usually damages the original
model, and sometimes even totally destroys it! The artist's original model is used to make a multi-
segmented mold which is a perfect negative of the original work.
Melted wax is poured into the mold and slushed around making a thin impression of the sculpture. The mold is then taken apart
leaving a hollow positive wax model of the sculpture. The artist or foundry man then touches up this wax reproduction, cleaning up
any flaws in the wax and re-sculpting any details which may have been lost. A new wax reproduction is cast for every sculpture in
the entire edition! Wax sprues and vents are attached to the wax reproduction to allow for the smooth flow of the molten bronze
and for gases to escape.
This unique wax is covered with slurry, which is a mixture of plaster and other fire retardant materials – it looks like cornbread
batter at this point! Also, a core of slurry is poured into the hollow wax cavity. The slurry covered reproduction wax is then heated
and the wax is evaporated or poured out, thus the term, "lost wax."
The wax is now gone, leaving only an empty space that will be replaced by the molten bronze. The moment of truth is in the
pouring of the liquefied metal – an almost solemn reverence is associated with the somewhat dangerous and critical final pouring
of the bronze . The furnace roars and the metal pops and sparks as the glowing bronze is poured at a temperature of 2,300
When the metal has finally cooled and solidified, the slurry, core, spues and vents are removed. At this next stage, expert artisans
will begin the long, tedious process of hand finishing and reassembling the raw castings. Because Boyett bronzes are extremely
complex, reassembling the bronze sections can be like welding and soldering a 3 dimensional jigsaw puzzle back together! One
of Mr. Boyett’s sculptures required reassembling and attaching more than 225 separate pieces of metal!
The final process in the creation of a bronze sculpture is the patina or acid coloration that is applied to the surface of the bronze.
This “forced tarnishing” is done by heating the sculpture with a torch and applying different acids and other chemicals to the hot
surface. When the desired look is accomplished, the sculpture is waxed and sealed to protect the patina and maintain that
exquisite mellow finish that is so characteristic of fine gallery quality bronze sculptures!
The fascinating bronze sculptures of Michael Boyett are the result of hundreds of hours of artistic, skilled and tedious labor. It is
obvious that the value of his gallery quality bronzes are based not only on artistic merit, but also due to the excellent “old world”
craftsmanship that is required to produce these outstanding works of art.
The "Lost Wax" Process