Our sculpture studio is expert and cultivates a sense of excellence in all stages of the creation of bronze artworks.
The history of our place is so particular that it gives a genuine legitimacy to this promise : We see ourselves as the ideal partners to accompany sculptors and designers in their most challenging bronze dreams.
the art of bronze
packing & logistic
the art of bronze
What can be said about bronze art except that it is a process that is as ancient as it is complex, which requires great rigour and whose result is as exciting as it is profound. A bronze sculpture makes people vibrate precisely because it is made of this alloy. With this medium, it becomes noble and touches the eternal.
More than 5,000 years ago, people in the Middle East understood its magic. Their technique spread throughout the known world, reaching its artistic peak during the Roman Empire, while in Asia it remained until modern times almost exclusively linked to bronze pieces dedicated to religious rites.
In Europe, bronze statuary fell into disuse at the end of Antiquity and only reappeared in France at the beginning of the Renaissance and then throughout the continent, thanks to the patronage of the states and the church. Its long history gave birth to a genius in the 19th century who was at the origin of the birth of modern sculpture. Auguste Rodin was the first to break away from the classical and purely figurative approach and influenced generations of artists towards more abstract creations. The challenge of bronze held no secrets for him.
Whatever the quality of the alloy and the level of expertise of the master foundryman, the beauty, balance and momentum felt in front of a work in bronze are only the result of the vision and talent of the sculptor to artistically and technically project the final version of his/her work into this medium. Some sculptures are designed to be made in bronze by nature and for others this alloy, however noble and prestigious, will not bring the expected resonance. This is particularly true for large sculptures and even more so for monumental works which require the artist to have perfect control over the realisation of his or her lines, surfaces and textures, so that the final rendering of the cast is truly grandiose. The choice of bronze reinforces the work and brings that ultimate magic that is unique to it. Everything is sculpture. Everything begins and ends with the artist’s talent, who constantly keeps his/her bronze in mind when he/she sculpts.
perfect moulding makes it all
The mould making stage is extremely important as it is the quality and thoroughness of it that ensures that all bronze editions and artist’s proofs are perfectly faithful to the artist’s original creation and identical to each other. The slightest approximation at the mould making stage can then prove disastrous during the casting process and greatly complicate the assembly process.
We use the elastomer moulding technique to make our moulds, which we reinforce with plaster or resin. This technique allows the precision and accuracy necessary to preserve all the details of the work and its textural variations. It also has the advantage of making the moulds long-lasting and easy to store.
Casting stage is the most spectacular part of the process. There is almost a mystical feeling that emerges from watching it. The spectacle of the molten bronze pouring out of the pit is clearly exhilarating. This stage is of course essential but its success is only the result of the perfect execution of the two previous stages.
Before the casting itself, there is a choice between two techniques for overmoulding the positive waxes extracted from the elastomer moulds. The first is sand casting, which is the oldest. It is ideal for making flat, linear surfaces. The second is the moulding by ceramic shells. It allows for very precise preservation of details and textures. The latter is more complicated because it requires to make a casting shaft around the positive wax version of the piece, which implies a more important caesuring work after casting than with the sand technique.
The other choice that the artist must make for the casting of his sculptures is that of the composition of the alloy that he will favour and more particularly its copper density. Knowing that the welds when assembling the different parts of the work will always be made with silicon bronze rods (95% copper, 4% silicon and 1% manganese), it is ideal to use this same alloy for casting in order to be certain that the weld lines will be and remain absolutely invisible with time and the inevitable oxidation of the sculpture.
caesura, assembly and patina
Once the bronze castings have cooled down completely and are removed from the sand or ceramic shell moulds, the work of caesuring, assembly and polishing begins, which requires a great deal of rigour and meticulousness. The bronze work can then come to life and be perfectly in line with the artist’s original creation. These final stages require not only great technical skill but also a true artistic eye. As during the creation of the work, there is that subtle, almost inexplicable moment when you know that the sculpture is finished and has found its own balance, its own visual rhythm.
The last stage of this long process is an art in itself. It is the creation of the patina that will magnify the forms cast in the bronze. This is done by heating the bronze with a torch and applying a subtle mixture of nitrates, sulphides, oxides and soda ash with a brush. This technique triggers an accelerated oxidation of the medium which causes it to take on the desired patina colour. Its range of tones, colours and textures is infinite.
packing, shipping and installation
These last three steps are not the most noble, but they are absolutely essential to the process and success of a sculptural project, especially if it is monumental. What would be the point of excelling in all the stages described above if the work did not arrive in full at its final destination so that the artist’s vision could be admired by the public in the place chosen by the latter ?
To do this, it is first necessary to imagine the appropriate packaging that will perfectly preserve the sculpture during handling and shipping, and then to organise these with sometimes extraordinary logistical constraints. Finally, it is essential to draw up a precise installation plan that takes into account the environmental and access constraints of the place where the artwork will be exhibited. Depending on its weight, it may be necessary to build foundations beforehand to ensure that the installation is durable.