Posted 20th Dec 2012
This summer the LandLove team visited the Weald of Kent Craft Show where we met talented artist and bronze caster, Graeme Quinn. Always keen to have a go, we decided to try our hand at this ancient technique as Graeme showed our Editor-in-Chief Anna-Lisa the ropes
To make our bronze masterpiece we were surprised to learn that cuttlefish bones were required. This particular process has been used since the bronze age and takes less than two hours to produce a beautiful casting.
The cuttlefish bones are a non-toxic waste product from the fishing industry, commonly fed to caged birds, and are readily available. The bones are often used to make jewellery due to the quick process and remarkable texture left imprinted into the casting from the bones.
Once the bones are carved they are bound together ready for the bronze to be poured in. The bronze, made up of around 95% copper and 5% tin, is poured at about 1087ºC into the cuttlefish bone cast. The bones are able to hold the heat long enough for the carved impression to register in amazing detail.
The work isn't over once the cast is opened, the bronze then needs to be wire brushed, fettled with an assortment of saws and files, then rubbed down with sandpaper to reveal a golden-rose hue. The bronze can then be polished and waxed, ready to take home and treasure.
Graeme runs a series of bronze casting workshops throughout the year, details of which can be found in our Village Shop section on p.8 of the Jan/Feb 2013 issue. Visit www.bronzeheart.co.uk for more details or to purchase some of Graeme's amazing artwork.
Click below to see our photo diary experience, bronze casting with Graeme!