Wednesday, 30 January 2013

#383 In the Field: Autry Masters, con't . . . "Branching Out"

Below, is an image of Branching Out, another new piece that will be introduced
Feb. 2 at the Autry Museum's Masters of the American West Exhibition and Sale.  

For more information start with post #379, Jan. 22 and go to

Branching Out
7"H 12"W 7"D
Copyright - Sandy Scott - 2013

Monday, 28 January 2013

#382 In the Field: Autry Masters, con't . . . "Striding Cougar"

Below, are images of Striding Cougar, another new piece that will be introduced at the 
Autry Museum Masters of the American West Exhibition and Sale next weekend.  

For more information start with post #379, Jan. 22 and go to

For information regarding the production and casting of this sculpture start with post # 369, Jan.2.

Striding Cougar
8"H 19"L 6"D
Copyright - Sandy Scott, 2013

Saturday, 26 January 2013

#381 In the Field: Autry Masters, con't . . . "Nesting Heron"

"The Masters of Western Art is recognized as the
premier Western art exhibition and sale in the country," 
said John Geraghty, Autry Museum Trustee and Special 
Advisor to Masters.  "It has become the benchmark for 
each of the other major art events and has brought the nation's most prominent artists and supporters to the Autry.  Our artists have provided an exceptional presentation of paintings and sculptures for the 2013 Masters.  In their capable hands, we can rest assured that the Western art genre remains strong and will thrive for many generations to come."

For more information start with post #379, Feb. 22 and go to

Below, is another new work that will be introduced at the 2013 Autry Masters

Nesting Heron
15"H 25"W 26"D

Thursday, 24 January 2013

#380 In the Field: Autry Masters, con't . . . "Geraniums"

The country's most important Western art show, the Masters of the American West Fine Art Exhibition and Sale, celebrates its 16th anniversary at the Autry National Center with opening-day activities on Saturday, February 2, 2013. The juried exhibition and sale features 82 artists, including a newly added guest artist group of emerging talent, whose work is stylistically and thematically diverse.

For information see post #379, Jan. 22, or go to

Shown below, is my new 5 x 7 oil painting for the show's popular miniature wall.

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

#379 In the field: Autry Masters of Western Art, "Ovis Aries"

Invitational and juried museum shows such the Autry Museum's Masters of the American West 
have played an important role in the resurgent interest in representational art.  Quality, originality and 
healthy competition among the artists has been the result and astute collectors and museums recognize it.  

The prestigious show is a coveted invitation and I always introduce new work at the gala event.
The Masters of Western Art Show and Sale opens Feb. 2, 2013.

Shown below, is one of the new works I will introduce . . . Ovis Aries

24"H 11"W 5"D
Copyright Sandy Scott 2013

Sunday, 20 January 2013

#378 In the studio: "Noble Eagle, Spirit of America"

Last fall I was asked to create a small study of a previously executed eagle monument entitled Noble Eagle, Spirit of America.  A larger maquette had been designed as a precursor to the colossal monument . . .  but a study, which is a smaller version of a maquette, did not exist.

Shown at right is the monument and shown below are a series of pictures that depict the creation of the monument.

The powerful presence of the American Bald Eagle

The massive clay figure towers above the artist in the Lander studio

The general lines and basic masses of a monument must be simple

Masses must be balanced around a central axis

The resin cast maquette in the foreground

The overall contours are suggestive of flight

Shown below, is the recently completed small study of the eagle monument.  Although a clay sketch was created 
similar  to this several years ago, it was never cast.  The monument was so enormous that a larger maquette 
was needed in order to increase the size of the sculpture and obtain correct proportions.  
Shown above is the larger maquette being used as a guide. 


Friday, 18 January 2013

#377 In the foundry: "Striding Cougar", lost wax casting, con't . . .

To follow this process from the beginning, scroll back to post #369, January 2.

The patina is a permanent color that is applied to the bronze.
The surface of the sculpture is heated and treated with
chemicals which react with the copper in the bronze.
Various colors can be obtained by using different chemicals.

Shown at right, the bronze cougar has been metal chased, approved by the artist, then sandblasted before it is
taken to the patina room.

Shown below, the bronze cougar is polished  . . . a process called "blue-padding"

Next, the bronze is heated with a propane torch.

Below, ferric nitrate is stippled on while the bronze is hot.

Next, a coating of titanium dioxide is applied over the ferric nitrate.

Next, the bronze continues to be heated and the final coat of ferric nitrate is applied.

Below, patination is complete and the bronze is allowed to throughly cool.

Shown below, a coat of wax is applied to the bronze.

Finally, the bronze is attached to a walnut base.

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

#376 In the foundry: "Striding Cougar", lost wax casting, con't . . .

To follow this process from the beginning, scroll back to post #369, January 2.

The age-old lost wax casting process has been completed and the cougar is now cast in bronze.
Below, the ceramic shell filled with bronze, has cooled and hardened, and the shell
is broken off with a hammer.  The remaining bits of shell are then sandblasted off.

Below, the bronze sprues are cut off and returned to the
pouring floor where they will be melted down for future use.

Below, the cougar is taken to the welding table and the bronze patches are welded on.  Note the
two bronze patches under the cougar's tail.  As the weld lines are chased away and blended
into the surrounding metal textures, I spend many hours in the foundry.  The metal chasing step
in the process is very important to the artist: The integrity of the surface and what was modeled
into the clay must flow seamlessly.  A metal chaser is a highly trained technician
and must be sensitive to and aware of the sculptors modeling techniques.

Monday, 14 January 2013

#375 In the foundry: "Striding Cougar", lost wax casting, con't . . .

The silica ceramic shell is reheated in the kiln.  It is then placed cup-upwards and molten
bronze - the ingots melted at 2000 degrees - is poured into the space vacated by the wax.

Below, the bronze ingots are melted in a crucible while the ceramic shells are heated in the kiln.

Below, the hot, glowing ceramic shells have been removed from the kiln 
and will be turned cup-upward to accept the liquid molten bronze.

Below, the cougar ceramic shell has been placed on a bed of sand for 
stability, cup-upwards, and liquid, molten bronze is being poured into it.

Below, I've seen the lost-wax casting process many times in 
the foundry, and never tire of watching this ancient process.

Below, the glowing ceramic shell, filled with bronze cools down and hardens.

Saturday, 12 January 2013

#374 In the foundry: "Striding Cougar", lost wax casting, con't . . .

To follow this process from the beginning, start with Post #369, January 2.

The hardened silica ceramic shell with the wax cougar inside is placed in a hot furnace kiln and baked.  
The wax melts - or is "lost" -  out the sprues and gates, leaving the silica ceramic shell with a negative
 space identical to the wax casting of the cougar . . . which will be the receptacle for molten bronze.

Shown below, ceramic shells, including the cougar, are loaded on a rack and rolled into a furnace kiln.
 This process is known as burnout. 

Below, the melted wax is dripping out or being "lost" from the shell.  Thus, the term, "lost wax" casting.  
Melted wax will be caught in a tray, drip out the square funnel, then caught in a bucket for reuse.

Shown below, is the "Striding Cougar" on the wax burnout cart.  Note, the large pour spout under
the cougar . . . the cougar shell will be turned upside down and the molten bronze will be poured into this funnel.


Thursday, 10 January 2013

#373 In the foundry: "Striding Cougar", lost wax casting, con't . . .

The sprued and gated wax replica of the artist's clay model is taken to the shell room 
where it is dipped in a liquid glass silica slurry, then dusted with powdered silica sand.

Several coats of this shell material is applied and each coat is allowed to dry before the next 
application.  This process is called "investing" and the purpose is to form a hard ceramic glass
shell "vessel" in which to pour the molten bronze, which will be discussed in the next post.  

For more information about this project, start with Post #369, January 2.

Below, the wax model is dipped into the first coat of liquid slurry and lifted out.

Below, the wet slurry is dusted with powdered silica sand, and the first coat is complete.

Below, the wax model, encased in several coats of hardened silica ceramic shell.

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

#372 In the foundry: "Striding Cougar", lost wax casting, con't . . .

Shown below, sprues (funnels) and gates (vents) made of wax are added to the wax casting.  This creates channels
for the molten bronze to enter and an outlet for the escape of the lost wax and gases.  The process is called spruing and gating.  This procedure is more easily understood as I continue discussing the lost wax process in the next posts.

Note, the red wax chasing repairs.  Also, the wax "patches" were removed to enable the bronze to be cast hollow.
The patches will be welded on later during the bronze welding and chasing process.

For more information about this project, start with Post #369, January 2.

Sunday, 6 January 2013

#371 In the studio & foundry: "Striding Cougar", mold & wax, con't . . .

A plaster jacket is made after 5 coats of rubber are applied to the clay model.  Next, the mold is "popped", the clay model is removed and the mold is taken to the foundry.  The rigid plaster holds the rubber mold in place while liquid wax is poured into the mold.  Shown below is the wax replica of the cougar after the wax cools and it is removed from the mold.  The hollow wax casting is identical to the original clay model.

Next, the wax replica is cleaned up or "chased" . . . meaning all imperfections, flashing, shim lines, pits and bubbles are repaired.  Shown below is the wax chaser cleaning up the wax model with a hot iron.