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Commissioning process

  • Research, read and discuss the concept.
  • Draw to explore concept.
  • Draw with a live model.
  • Create clothing for the model.
  • Draw with the model in costume.
  • Using a model, create a maquette for initial approval and adjustments.
  • Create the armature for final sized piece.
  • Using a model, sculpt the figure without robes.
  • Work on face and hands early: This allows for insight and adjustments throughout the process.
  • Using a model, sculpt the drapery.
  • Live with the piece for one month: This gives me the opportunity to see it in a variety of lighting situations, and to respond to the lessons that the work has presented to me. I take my job as an artist seriously, following in my predecessors’ tradition of a search for excellence.
  • Obtain second approval from patron.
  • Contact the mold maker for the next opening.

    Welding Operation

  • When the molds are complete: Pour waxes into the mold. Rework the surface of each wax, reevaluate each stroke, and make minor adjustments and enhancements.
  • The time required depends on the quality of the mold and the size and complexity of the piece.
  • Take waxes to the foundry for casting.
  • At the completion of casting: Chase or work the surface of the bronze to unify the surface texture, as well as make minor adjustments and corrections. Create mounting accommodations.
  • Sandblast the entire piece as a preparation for the patina process, which will create the coloring of the bronze.
  • Blacken the bronze, and rub back to establish highlights and values.
  • Apply patinas.
  • Prepare the piece for transport, delivery and installation.

The Making of a Sculpture

The following sculptures used in this presentation can be viewed from the Portfolio.
° Mother Teresa  ° Transcendent Christ  ° At Peace  ° Risen Christ   ° Sacred Heart  ° Saint James the Lesser  ° Saint Peregrine

Historical research about the person and a study of existing representations throughout history is made.If we have access to actual robes or habits, we take photos of these. Saint Peregrine




ModelA model is hired and sketches are produced.Sketches

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Clay studies are blocked in.
Sometimes a detailed “maquette” or clay miniature is produced.
An armature is created. It forms a “skeleton” for the final sculpture. This armature can be made of rebar.
Rebar Armature
The armature is covered with layers of foam and tape, creating the bulk of the sculpture.
Lynn at work
Modeling and sculpting go hand in hand, as layer by layer the sculpture takes form.
processing sculpture 1
With the application of each layer the figure begins to take shape and is finalized.
sculpture layers
The mold maker is the next person to go to work on the sculpture. Arms and legs might be cut off, and the remainder sectioned into manageable sizes. A full sized sculpture might be broken into 8 to 10 pieces.
processing the mold
The first part of the mold consists of a brushed on rubber compound, able to capture the finest features. Over this another structural mold is Created. It is rigid and supportive of the rubber mold.
mold processing
Wax is poured into the mold, creating a shell approximately 3/8” thick. This wax is then reworked removing any bubbles and seams.

wax process
The wax sections are alternately dipped into a ceramic slurry and sand. Around 12 repetitions of this dipping creates a shell approximately 1/2” thick around the wax shell. The ceramic shell is baked, and the molten wax flows out of specifically created orifices. Hence, the “Lost Wax Process”.
wax process
Molten bronze is poured into the ceramic shells through the orifices (called cups), and into the cavity left behind by the “lost wax”. Once the bronze is cooled, the ceramic shell is broken off, leaving bronze pieces behind.
Molten bronze is poured into the ceramic shells
The sculpture then goes to fabrication.
This consists of:  1. Welding the pieces together.
fabrication 1
2. Chasing the seams with grinding tools so it matches the surrounding surface.
fabrication 2
3. Sandblasting the whole sculpture to leave a clean surface for patination
sandblasting the sculpture
Patination, or the application of oxides and nitrates to a hot or a cold surface, then takes place.
    patination process    patination process
The sculpture is sealed with lacquers and waxes.
sculpture is seale with waxes
The sculpture is ready to go home.
going home
at home
Diaz photo, 2004
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Religious Sculptures Photo Gallery