In Yantai City, Shandong Province, China, a large outdoor bronze sculpture with antique bronze patina finish has just been completed. This 6-meter-height sculpture was built in the memory of Yang Zirong, who was referred to as a Chinese national hero. According to its designer, Wang Yufeng, this sculpture was a reflection of Yang Zirong, meaning he will guard this country forever. In order to build a huge sculpture like it, 6 steps should be followed.
Step One: Designing
This sculpture was designed by Wang Yufeng, one of the most famous sculptors in modern China. He spent several weeks learning the heroic deeds of Yang Zirong and thinking about his modeling, so that the sculpture can embody the hero’s image exactly. He made a small one 1: 6 as a model and the sculptors can build the sculpture to scale.
Step Two: Making Clay Framework
It was necessary to make a strong framework to support the clay, just like a pillar in a house. More than a ton of rolled steel and steel wire was used to make the framework. Starting with its feet, the framework was firstly set up by piecing together the rolled steel according to the model, as clay is soft and wet, the sculptors needed to make some wooden sheets to support the clay to avoid falling. The whole framework, which was little smaller and thinner than the completed sculpture, looked like a huge skeleton.
Step Three: Making Original Clay Mold
The next step was to create its surface initially. In this stage, the sculptors applied clay to cover the whole framework, after which the sculpture began to appear its image.
Step Four: Rubber Mold
The rubber mixture is applied directly to the surface of the clay, using a brush to paint it onto the surface of original clay and fixed with plaster, wooden bar and hemp.
Step Five: Making Wax Mold
The sculptor brushed wax onto rubber mold several times and made up the form of sculpture.
Step Six: Bronze Casting
Bronze casting was the most important part to fabricate the large sculpture. In this step, both sand-casting and lost-wax casting are applied. Under high temperature of 1400 degrees, the wax pattern lost and the bronze sculpture appeared.
Step Seven: Welding and Polishing
After casting, the bronze sculpture is very rough, and the craftsmen needed to weld the small holes on casting bronze, and then polished it in order to make the surface smooth. The standard for bronze sculpture was not as high as to stainless steel sculpture, but polishing the sculpture was also a significate task during the process. Without polishing, the bronze sculpture would throw into the shade. As for this bronze sculpture, polishing made it more smooth and shining. Till now, the fabrication was drawing to its close, and the bronze sculpture was loaded and transported to the site.
Step Eight: Patina
After the sculpture was installed, the last step is doing patina on bronze. Before doing it, it is necessary to ensure the sculpture was clean and free of oil and grease by scrubbing it with a weak "pickle" solution of nitric acid. The craftsmen sand blast the bronze, and a couple coats of ferric nitrate, ammonium sulfide was applied to darken the sculpture and add some cooler silver and gray color. Surely, patina risen the bronze sculpture and it looked more solemn.
This is from China Bronze Sculpture Foundry, more excellent works and professional information are required to be continued.