Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Wednesday in Wyoming - June 29, 2016

The grand finale of the metal casting process at Eagle Bronze!
Once the casting is complete and the surface has been polished, it's time to add the patina.  What's the patina?  That's the coloring that the artist or customer has requested.

Before I toured the plant, I thought bronze statues were a single color -- bronze. Not true.  They can be any color you can imagine.

Look at the two bison.  The white one has no patina.  The blue does.  Yes, the customer requested blue bison.

As was true of many steps in the bronze casting process, applying patina requires more than one coat, and of course each coat needs to dry completely before the next one can be applied.

When all the coats of patina and sealer are complete, the piece is ready for its final step: mounting.  And then it all begins again, with a new piece of art.

I hope you've enjoyed learning a bit about one of Wyoming's businesses.  As you've probably guessed, I found it fascinating.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Wednesday in Wyoming - June 22, 2016

Continuing the saga of metal casting at Eagle Bronze ...

Last week we saw how molten bronze was poured into the ceramic mold.  Once the mold is removed, the statute is ready for the finishing touches.

If it was cast in more than one piece, which is common for large statues like this one, the pieces are welded together.  Then comes the polishing stage.  It's during this step that any residual ceramic is removed and that the surface is prepared for the final step.

Yes, next week is the final post about metal casting.  It's also one of my favorite steps in the process.  I hope you'll come back for it.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Which Promotions Work Best?

Marketing books is a challenge -- definitely an art rather than a science.  As part of the marketing for On Lone Star Trail, Revell's fabulous art department created a number of images for me to share on social media.  As you'll see, some are quotations from the book, while others are announcements or reviews.

My question for you is, which of these do you think was the most effective?  Which would make you consider buying the book?

Please leave a comment with the number of the image you found most helpful.

And if you'd like to tell me why one worked better for you than another, I'd appreciate that.

#1 -- The simple announcement

#2 -- The steamroller

#3 -- Battles fought

#4 -- Talking and praying

#5 -- He will not forsake us

#6 -- Focus on the progress

#7 -- Some enchanted evening

#8 -- A review

Thanks so much for your help!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Wednesday in Wyoming - June 15, 2016

What is this?  It's the place where the actual metal casting occurs at Eagle Bronze.

Once the ceramic mold is complete, it's brought here.  The first step is to heat the mold so that the wax melts and is removed.  Now we're ready for the final casting.

Bronze ingots are placed inside this cauldron, heated to around 2000 degrees, then poured into the ceramic mold.  Once that cools and solidifies, we have a bronze statue, but the process isn't finished.  The ceramic mold has to be removed, and then ...

The saga continues next week.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Wednesday in Wyoming - June 8, 2016

The saga of bronze casting at Eagle Bronze continues.

After the wax molds are sprued, another mold is created.  (If you were wondering, this is the final mold.  We're getting close to actually casting bronze.)

This mold is ceramic and is formed by dipping the wax mold into a sand or silica slurry.  As was the case with the latex coating at the beginning of the process, there are multiple coats, with different textures of slurry for each one.

Remember the fan and gloves that started this whole story?  They're used in this step of the process.  The molds need to dry completely between coats of slurry, and the fans help with that.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Wednesday in Wyoming - June 1, 2016

Let's continue the saga of bronze casting at Eagle Bronze in Lander, Wyoming.

Remember the wax casting of half a statue in last week's post?  Once the castings are dry, they're removed from the latex mold and carefully -- very carefully -- assembled.  Then comes the spruing process.

I'd never heard of spruing, but it's the addition of those green and red rods that you see attached to the bunnies and lying on the left side of the workbench.  When the bronze is poured, the sprus allow it to flow evenly and permit the gases to vent.

Who knew there were so many steps?  And we're not finished yet.