What to expect from different types of statue materials?
|Type of Casting Material
|Level of Detail
|Cast Stone (Cement/Concrete)
Carrara Marble White marble from the Northern Italian quarry of Carrara is the chosen material to create the marble resin compound used by master sculptors and statue producers, and with good reason. This highly regarded method of producing sculpture replicates the texture and appearance of hand carved works, having the ability to retain the finest details and characteristics of the originals. Carrara marble is the white marble, which is quarried in Carrara, Italy. It is this particular marble that was used by the famous Renaissance artist Michelangelo Buonarroti for many of his beautiful masterpieces including the Pieta and the statue of David.
Carrara marble powder is a pulverized form of this marble usually made from small pieces that are not usable. The resin gives the marble powder an added strength superior to the natural stone. The statues consist of approximately 70% - 80% marble powder and the remainder being resin. Bonded marble compares favorably to its natural marble counterpart. The surface texture is nearly identical. The coloring of bonded marble is a consistent white whereas the natural Carrara marble is slightly off white with subtle gray streaking in some cases. It weighs approximately 90% of the weight of natural marble but is superior in strength.
Whether your tastes in statuary are loyal to the classics, or you prefer contemporary works of art, there are creations in bonded marble offering many choices. Some pieces are available with hand painted finishes. The white pieces age gracefully, attaining a lovely warm patina reminiscent of ivory. Carrara Marble Cleaning Suggestions: Regular dusting with a feather duster or soft cloth is generally sufficient for cleaning bonded Carrara marble sculpture, as this medium is less porous than pure marble rendering it more resistant to staining.
When necessary, mild soap and water may be used when dusting alone does not achieve the desired effect. For stubborn stains, try small amounts of rubbing alcohol, or even denatured alcohol. Fingernail polish remover may be used on the white pieces, with caution, and then rinsed. Designer-Resin By mastering the art of casting products of fiberglass resin, (a very durable synthetic polymer), in well-made molds, modern producers of statuary can manage to retain all the detail of original works with the added benefits of less weight than cast-stone, (therefore reduced shipping costs), greater strength than some other casting options, and a product suitable for indoor and/or outdoor use. There is considerable flexibility with finishing options for cast Designer Resin statuary pieces, mimicking the look of ancient stone, marble, bronze, porcelain, among others, in addition to beautifully hand-painted poly-chrome finishes.
*These pieces should do well in rain and temperatures above freezing; however, under harsh winter conditions, the expansion and contraction of ice in crevices may crack the piece. It is, therefore, recommended that the sculpture be brought inside when freezing temperatures threaten.
TUFFSTONE Tuffstone is the highest quality casting plaster available and by far the preferred casting medium for plaster statuary. Characteristics that separate Tuffstone from inferior plaster products are greater durability with less chalkiness. In addition to the classic white, there are often choices for other finishes for Tuffstone pieces. Like other plaster castings, however, these statues are not suited for outdoor use.
DURASTONE Durastone has very similar characteristics to Tuffstone, with particular attention to superior quality in casting and durability. Durastone is the choice-casting medium for the esteemed Austin collections of fine statuary products.
"Bronze" itself is a general term for a variety of copper-based metal alloys (a mixture of approximately 90% copper and 10% tin) , popular with artists and craftsmen for millennia because it is hard yet formable.
Bronze sculptures are hand cast using the meticulous, centuries old "lost wax" method. The first step in creating a bronze sculpture using the lost wax casting method is to sculpt the original piece from which the mold will be made. All the detail is captured in this stage, which is the basis for the rest of the process. The next step of casting is to pour molten wax into the mold, using layers of wax to form an exact duplicate of the original casting. The wax is pulled from the mold and detailed, or chased, welded and polished by individual artisans. Each piece may contain some small variation from the original, but the reproductions remain true to the original sculpture. Wax rods and pouring cups are attached to the wax casting to assure a full pour. Using a temperature controlled climate, the wax casting is dipped into investment liquid (liquid clay, essentially). After the first dip, a powder is applied to the clay, and on subsequent dips a layer of ceramic sand is applied, creating a ceramic mold that must be allowed to dry between layers. The ceramic shell is then placed into a kiln and fired, the shell is baked and the wax is melted (lost) from the shell, creating a hollow ceramic shell mold and the phrase 'lost wax casting.' The mold is removed from the kiln, and molten bronze is poured into the shell at about 2100 degrees Fahrenheit. After several hours of cooling, the unfinished bronze is carefully stripped of the ceramic shell. The ceramic shell fragments are carefully removed from the bronze, which is carefully inspected at this stage. If required, this is the time when a master craftsman would weld larger sections together, and chase or re-detail the weld marks. Afterward, the craftsman uses a process called 'glass beading' in which the bronze is sprayed with powdered glass under extremely high pressures to ensure an even bronze finish. The bronze is now hand polished and heated to await the patina application. The patina is hand applied by the artisan, and a layer of wax is hand applied with heat to ensure a lustrous patina finish. After a final inspection, the bronze sculpture is now ready for delivery and display.
Cast Stone is a special blend of portland cement and light weight aggregates. Each of our Cast Stone pieces is hand worked after casting to create a unique and beautiful finish.