A Guide to All Things Bronze
30th November, 2017
Here at Image Casting, we create beautiful baby keepsakes, holding hand casts and miniatures for families, so that they can cherish the memories that matter most for years to come. In order to create these special and precious keepsakes, we use high-quality materials including glass, sterling silver, silver or bronze resin and real bronze. This means that our baby casts can capture every line, crease and fold, accurately representing the foot, hand or holding hands that are being cast.
We’ve decided to delve a little deeper into real bronze, and discover interesting facts, properties, origins and aesthetics of the material and why it makes such a popular choice for baby keepsakes and beyond.
Bronze can be defined as an alloy, made of copper and another metal, which is usually tin. Compositions can vary, but most real bronze is at least 88% copper and 12% tin, although it can sometimes include manganese, aluminium, nickel, phosphorus, silicon, arsenic, or zinc.
History of Bronze
Bronze has been used to cast beautiful sculptures since it was first developed in ancient Greece. It is one of the earliest metals known to man. It has been used by many for generations, with early civilisations such as the Egyptians using the material to manufacture weapons and instruments. The material was prized for its versatility and resistance, which can partially explain its continued popularity in the 21st-century.
The Bronze Age is a name for the time period when bronze was widely acknowledged as the hardest metal and the most popular options across a variety of industries. It occurred at various times all over the world depending on the development of specific countries, with an indicator of the start being the replacement of stone tools with bronze. By 2500BC, casting techniques had become sophisticated enough to create human-sized statues.
The Iron Age directly followed the Bronze Age, starting around 1300 BC, although even then bronze was widely used thanks to its favourable properties. It remained to be an integral material in weaponry and was first associated with third-place in sporting fixtures in the Missouri Olympics in 1904. Bronze is also widely used in the manufacturing of musical instruments and is the preferred material for bells and cymbals.
Today, people from all over the world actively search for bronze sculptures to add a touch of elegance to their home décor, which can be used to blend with other design elements or act as a standout piece of artwork.
- Bronze was the first alloy developed by humans.
- Bronze is not magnetic.
- In British history, the Bronze Age is defined at starting in 2100 BC and finishing in 700 BC.
- Bronze is sometimes confused with brass, which is an alloy of copper and zinc as opposed to copper and iron.
- You can tell a fake bronze sculpture by the way it is finished. Chasing the surface of bronze is both costly and time-consuming, and there are fewer and fewer specialists who can achieve the quality of hand chasing, although that is guaranteed when you opt for a bronze sculpture with Image Casting.
Use of Bronze at Image Casting
The beauty of using real bronze for our bespoke baby keepsakes and hand cast sculptures is its durability, which it has proven over thousands of years. If a bronze cast is dropped on the floor, it won’t break, meaning that you can allow little fingers to explore the casts safe in the knowledge that your wonderful cast will not be subject to damage. All of our casts can be finished in traditional dark patina, medium patina or highly-polished depending on your preferences and can then be displayed on your choice of slate or cushion base.
Interestingly, while the mould-taking process for real bronze casts is similar to that of resin casts, creating the cast requires a completely different specialist process. This entails a perfect wax replica of the cast to be made before a special foundry then utilises what’s known as the ‘lost wax method’, which involves pouring molten bronze into the wax mould. The final steps of completing the beautiful sculpture involves a true expert chasing the cast, making sure to bring out the detail in the required patination. The whole casting process is highly skilled from start to finish when it comes to real bronze sculptures, and can take up to 12 weeks to complete. The engraving of bronze sculptures is not included in the price but can be arranged.
If you feel like a real bronze sculpture could be the perfect addition to your home, don’t hesitate to contact us today for more information. We’d be happy to give you further details regarding the casting process and go through the various options that are available.