Keeble Metal Works is a full Service Bronze Foundry dedicated to producing the highest quality bronze castings. Specializing in the ancient practice of lost wax casting our expert team will work with our clients every step of the way to ensure that each project is completed to the artists absolute satisfaction.
Mold making is the first step of many in the long process of creating an exact replica of any original sculpture in bronze. To do this the original piece is first divided into moldable sections, shims are used to create dividing lines and the sections are coated in either a two part rubber material or silicon mold material. After the rubber is hardened it is backed by a mother mold made of plaster or fiberglass. Once the mother mold is cured the original piece is removed and the molds are ready for wax. KMW utilizes the latest technology, industry protocols and the highest quality products every step of the way to produce pristine durable molds.
Once the sprue system is installed, the wax casting is dipped in a silica slurry to create a ceramic shell. This process is repeated until the proper shell thickness needed to withstand the weight of the molten bronze is achieved. The shells are then heated in an autoclave to remove the wax, leaving behind a hollow ceramic mold.
Shells are then pre-heated in a kiln to harden, strengthen, and prepare them for molten bronze to be poured into the hollow cavity filling in the void left by the wax pattern.
Depending on the artist's preference, we may use an assortment of different chemicals which when combined with heat can be used to achieve a variety of colors and finishes. After the patina is applied, the sculpture is sealed with a coat of wax to protect the finish.
The elements can take there toll on bronze sculptures causing patinas to fade and loose luster and white and green scale to build up on the surface of the bronze. Our skilled team can fully restore your bronze sculptures on site in most cases and we offer yearly or bi yearly maintenance packages if you always want to keep your sculptures looking great.
The completed molds, having been prepped and cleaned, are now ready for wax. Multiple coats of wax are applied to achieve an ideal thickness of 3/16 to 1/4 of an inch. Once achieved, the molds are removed to reveal the wax castings. Our professional wax team will then remove seam lines and other imperfections in the wax and prepare each piece for a sprue system. The sprue system or network of channels and gates is designed and attached to the piece to allow the molten bronze to flow into the wax casting and fill all of its cavities.
Metal Finishing & Fabrication
Once the casting is complete the silica shell is carefully removed. The casting is then separated from sprue system and sand blasted to remove all remaining shell. All sections of the castings are then welded together with great care and attention to proper fit and alignment. During this process an interior steel support system will be designed & engineered if needed.
The sculpture is lastly chased to remove any evidence of welding or casting defects. Finally the finished sculpture is sandblasted or wired brushed in preparation for the patina.
Some Large sculptures and monuments may require on site assembly and/or installation. In these cases, Keeble Metal Works can oversee and or facilitate this process to ensure that your project is completed to your utmost satisfaction