Bonded Bronze Art

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Bonded Bronze Sculptures at Affordable Prices

Erotic Candlesticks
Pair of Erotic Candlesticks, bronzed, 13″ tall without coach candle.
The bonded bronze process is less involved compared to foundry casting of molten bronze (lost wax process). As such, a bonded bronze is much more affordable and therefore much more accessible for the public.

However, there is a slight difference between art pieces promoted as bonded or cold-cast bronze and bronze-coated art. It may be hard to distinguish one method from the other when looking at a sculpture.

Our candlesticks can be had as either bonded bronze or bronze-coated variants. Both the bonded bronze and the bronze-coated method are ideally suited to produce entertaining, decorative sculptures at affordable prices. The bronze-coated candlesticks are a bit less expensive than the bonded bronze candlesticks as the process of crafting them is a bit simpler.

The finished sculptures have a surface which looks and feels very similar to a traditionally “hot cast” bronze (molten bronze), although the sculpture tends to be a bit lighter.

Bonded bronze (also known as “cold-cast bronze”) is modern technique of casting sculptures in which the casting material is a resin mixed with sufficient amounts of powdered bronze to give the sculpture the look and feel of solid metal.

There are three distinct casting methods that are commonly employed to produce pieces that might be promoted as “bonded bronze” or “cold cast bronze” sculptures. Often, these methods are used together to produce exceptional centerpieces.

  The bonded bronze candlesticks offered on this site are hand-crafted in California. By default, we are using the bronze dusting method. However, candlesticks can also be crafted on demand via any of the other two methods. Please contact us to inquire about on demand casting.


Bonded Bronze: Three Casting Methods

There are three methods that can be distinguished for creating bonded bronze pieces:

  • solid casting;
  • slush casting;
  • bronze dusting.

Solid Casting Method

This method requires enough bronze/resin mixture to fill the entire mold cavity. Solid casting is recommended for smaller or quality castings as it typically requires the most bronze powder compared to other methods.

Advantages of this method:

  • It is a one-step process.
  • Bronze is situated throughout the sculpture, so there is no concern about over-polishing the surface.

Disadvantages of this method:

  • It requires a lot more bronze powder than any of the other methods, which will be a bit more costly.

Slush Casting Method

Bronze Candlestick #1, 1978, bronze, 13" high
Fine Art: Erotic Candlesticks Sculpture #1, 1978, bronze, 13″ tall. Taper candles not shown.
The slush cast method is a two-step process. The two basic steps are:

  • Create a bronze-filled, thin (1/8″ to 1/4″) surface layer.
  • Back it with a less expensive resin or other casting material.

To create the first layer, a small amount of bronze resin mix is poured into the mold and “slushed” around until it thoroughly coats the surface of the mold.

When this first layer has “gelled”, the remainder of the mold cavity is filled with bronze-less resin, or a different casting material.

Advantages of this method:

  • Requires less bronze powder than the solid cast method.
  • The overall weight of the casting can be manipulated by choosing different casting materials for backfilling.

Disadvantages of this method:

  • It is a two-step process with some wait time between steps.
  • It requires manual rotation of the mold.
  • There is the potential to over-polish and burn through the thin bronze layer.

Bronze Dusting Method

The bronze dusting method is also a two-step process. The two basic steps are:

  • Thoroughly dust the inner surface of the mold with bronze powder.
  • Pour plain resin mixture to fill the mold.

Advantages of this method:

  • Requires less bronze powder than the solid cast method.
  • The bronze powder is positioned right at the surface of the casting, so this method often requires less burnishing to expose the metal.
  • Takes patina much better than other methods because bronze is fully exposed on the surface – there is no resin to burnish away.

Disadvantages of this method:

  • Must be very careful when burnishing or handling – it is very easy to burn or scratch through the thin bronze coating.
  We use this method to produce the bonded bronze candlesticks as it provides the best value for customers. Each candlestick is coated with a layer of clear wax which hardens to protect the patina from scratching.