Client concept is developed via subject
matter research that evolves into preliminary drawings, which may remain rough or
proceed to finished and highly-detailed. After final design is approved, Ron and
Cynthia map out the physical space the clay sculpture will occupy on wooden platform(s),
fine-tuning by trial and error exactly where figures/objects will be located.
Ron assembles iron and steel pipeworks and assorted wooden supports that will sustain
the poses of the clay statues as they grow around the armatures.
Cynthia then inserts Styrofoam or other lightweight packing material to large areas
to minimize clay weight and bulk, moving on to applying layer after layer of clay
to the forms.
Actual sculpting process takes approximately 3 to 6 months, depending on the scale
and/or complexity of the piece.
phase takes several weeks. Heated wax is poured into the mold, coating its interior.
After cooling and hardening, mold is removed and the wax sections are chased and
assembled to the desired degree of finish.
Successful wax pieces are gated and sprued for metal pouring, dipped repeatedly
into a "slurry" (liquid adhesive and increasingly fine sand) until a thick, hard,
ceramic "shell" adheres to the entire surface of the section. Individually molded
pieces are heated to remove the wax from the inside and consolidate the shell. Liquid
metal is poured into the mold.
After all sections have cooled and
hardened and the ceramic shells are broken off, the metal pieces are cleaned, fitted
together, welded and chased, and the artwork is finished with a patina and protective
Final touches may include mounting on a base, pedestal or platform.