Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Wednesday in Wyoming -- May 25, 2016

Continuing the story of bronze casting at Eagle Bronze ...

Does the pink color on the edges of this look familiar?  It should, since that's the latex mold we saw being applied in last week's post.

The next step is to create a wax mold.  That's the dark brown you're seeing here.  As was the case with the latex, multiple steps are involved.  The goal is to capture all the details of the original art work but in wax.

If this sounds complicated to you, it did to me, too.  That's one of the reasons I found the whole bronze casting process so fascinating -- the fact that there are so many different steps involved.

 I hope you'll join me as we continue the walk through Eagle Bronze's foundry next month.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Wednesday in Wyoming -- May 18, 2016

Continuing the story of bronze casting at Eagle Bronze ...

Remember the cards from last week's post?  Here's where they come into play.  (Sorry.  That was a bad pun, wasn't it?)

The next step in the process is to create a latex mold of the artwork.  As you can see, that's done by hand, as is most of the work in the bronze casting process.

If you look at both the piece that's being coated and the one on the left, you'll see the cards.  Their job is almost done.

Once the mold is dry ...

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Wednesday in Wyoming -- May 11, 2016

Continuing the story of bronze casting at Eagle Bronze ...

Who would have thought that a deck of cards -- yes, ordinary playing cards -- would be part of the bronze casting process?

If you look at the statue on the right, you'll see pink and green pieces of something.  Those are the backs of playing cards.  A closer look shows the faces of some cards.

But what are they doing there?  You might be surprised.  Complex artwork is often cut into pieces before the molds are created.  The cards are placed along the edges of each piece to make creating the mold easier.  And then ...

I hope you'll come back next week to see what happens next.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Wednesday in Wyoming -- May 4, 2016

A fan and rubber gloves -- these are some of the tools of the trade.  But what trade would that be?  The answer is bronze casting.

You may remember that I celebrated the restoration of the Abraham Lincoln monument at the summit of Interstate 80 last fall.  As part of researching the restoration effort, I had the opportunity to visit Eagle Bronze in Lander, Wyoming.  Eagle Bronze is the company that did the restoration work -- everything from removing the statue from its pedestal to "sandblasting" it with minuscule ceramic pellets to remove the effect of decades of pollution to hoisting it back in place.

A tour of the facility showed me that while restoring Lincoln was one of their major projects for 2015, it was far from the only work they do.  The whole bronze casting process fascinated me, so I decided to share highlights with you.

Please join me over the next several weeks as we learn how bronze statues are made.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Wednesday in Wyoming -- April 27, 2016

I can't blame the bunnies for this.  The famous Wyoming wind combined with a heavy snowfall to bend the daffodil stems so badly that they had no chance of holding up the blossoms.  What's a person to do?

I suppose if I had had florist tape or wire, I could have used that.  But since I had neither, I wrapped the stems in masking tape.  It worked!  That might be an unusual form of Daffodil First-Aid, but it meant that I could enjoy the flowers for well over a week.

Have you ever had to perform first-aid on flowers from your garden?  If so, what did you do?

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Wednesday in Wyoming -- April 20, 2016

Do you see anything wrong with this picture?  If you look closely, you'll see that my friendly cottontails have cut off and discarded grape hyacinth flowers and stems, making them look a bit like trees that have been cut by loggers.  They've also devoured the rest of the foliage.

Got to love those bunnies!

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Wednesday in Wyoming -- April 13, 2016

Aren't these beautiful?  In case you're not familiar with them, they're dwarf iris.  They also come in a lighter purple and yellow, but this seems to the predominant color.

Remember how I told you that cottontails preferred white crocuses to the other varieties?  When the dwarf irises first opened, the rabbits wouldn't touch them, regardless of the color.  (No complaints from me, I assure you.)  But during the most recent snowstorm, one bunny would dig through inches and inches of snow to devour purple dwarf iris.  I have to admit that it was cute to see the brightly colored blossoms disappear into his mouth.  Fortunately, by that time the snow had taken its toll on the flowers, so losing a few to a hungry bunny wasn't a tragedy.