LIMITED EDITION BRONZE SCULPTURE
In the bronze sculpture world, the term “Limited Edition” means that a certain sculpted work can be reproduced in bronze a certain number of times. Limited editions of bronze are generally much smaller than flat art, so it is a much more exclusive piece of art. Bronze is a very involved process of many layers, but simply put, the original sculpture (generally created in clay or sculpting wax, but could also be wood, plaster, stone, etc.) has a mold made over the original piece. That original piece is later removed from the mold. At this point, using the “Lost Wax Process”, a new wax is poured into the mold, which will be basically an exact copy of the original sculpture. I will stop my description there, as this is only the tip of the very lengthy production process.
So, back to the definition of limited editions as it pertains to bronze sculpture… Say, the artist (me) sets the number of limited edition bronze castings to be 25. This means that only 25 reproductions can be produced from the mold. Each of these works will be personally signed and numbered by me. (Located somewhere on the bronze, will be a signature and its unique edition number which will be something like “9/25”. This specifies that it is the 9th casting out of a total of 25.) And while this individual sculpture will be the same in shape and texture as the original work, depending on the patina method employed, each will end up with a similar but individual patina (coloration). Depending on the particular artist, sometimes a Collector will have a say in the type of patina they desire for their specific piece (especially if it is a pre-cast piece).
So, in this example, when a total of 25 sculptures have been produced from the mold, the mold will then be destroyed, and no more of this bronze sculpture will ever be produced. This is what makes a Limited Edition bronze work so unique and valuable, both for the Collector and the rest of the world – who knows that only a certain number were ever produced, and they are lucky enough to own one of them!
BRONZE SCULPTURE - THE PROCESS AND ITS PEOPLE, AN INTRODUCTION TO THE WORLD OF BRONZE
I believe Sculpture affects your life quite differently than 2-dimensional art. Different viewing angles, the play of light and shadow continually changing throughout the day, makes a sculpture continually new to your senses. The tactile feel of the shapes and planes opens up whole new dimensions to what the eyes can see. I love each art form for its own unique qualities. Bronze sculpture is usually pretty mysterious to most people. Hopefully, the information below will help dispel at least some of the mystery!
DEFINITIONS AND FAQ LINKS
The Process and Production Time
How Many People Does It Take To Produce A Sculpture?
Time Payment Options
Crating and Shipping
WHAT IS MEANT BY THE TERM “LIMITED EDITION” BRONZE?
In the world of bronze, a “Limited Edition” refers to a specified limited number of sculptures that can be produced from the molds of a given original sculpted work. This number is set by the Artist, and when the last piece in “the run” is cast, the mold is then destroyed, and no more of this bronze sculpture will ever be produced.) Your sculptural work will come with a “Certificate of Authenticity”, specifying the Artist, copyright, title, dimensions of the work, place of origin, the number in the edition that you are receiving, the size of the edition and artist’s proofs to be produced, and the terms of the Limited Edition.
(*Note- A bronze edition generally has 3 price points – the “Pre-cast” price, the retail price, and then as a Limited Edition nears the last several pieces of its run, prices will rise again until the final piece of the edition is cast. At that point, the mold is destroyed, and no more of this sculpture will ever be produced.)
WHAT IS MEANT BY THE TERM “PRE-CAST” BRONZE?
“Pre-cast bronze” refers to the first time offering of a brand new sculpture, viewed in its original sculpture medium of clay or sculpting wax, and available for order only prior to the first time the Limited Edition sculpture is physically cast in bronze.
The benefits for the Collector (that’s you!) of a pre-cast order are four-fold:
- You get the unique opportunity to purchase a brand new sculpture with a prime low edition number. Your sculpture will be personally signed and numbered by me, and will mark the start of the Limited Edition. (The edition number you will receive will generally be determined by the order in which your request is placed.)
- You receive the special low introductory price (generally ~20%-25% off the estimated future retail price, calculated from direct quotes by foundry and production staff and based on current production costs for metal, time, and labor estimates).
- You have the opportunity to consider what type of patina (finishing coloration) you want your sculpture to receive.
- You also get the certain knowledge that you are directly assisting the artist, as pre-cast orders help the artist get the edition started by helping to defray initial costs involved with mold making, wax pouring and chasing, and other foundry and production costs.
This special Pre-cast order pricing lasts only until the first piece is cast in bronze. Once the first piece of the edition is cast in bronze, this pre-cast offer goes away, and pricing for the sculpture will rise dramatically to the normal retail price for the rest of the Limited Edition. (*Note- That price generally holds until the edition nears the end of its run, when prices will rise again until the final piece of the edition is cast. After that final number is reached, the mold is destroyed, and no more of this bronze sculpture will ever be produced.)
Believe me, I totally understand that the world of Bronze Sculpture can be very confusing! (It took me 4 days in a foundry to be able to understand all the steps involved!) I would be very happy to answer any questions you may have, so feel free to reach out with any questions or comments!
To take advantage of this exceptional limited-time offering, get your order placed today! This pricing is only available until the first bronze is cast!
WHAT IS THE PROCESS, AND HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO PRODUCE A BRONZE SCULPTURE?
In a world of mass produced goods and instant purchases, bronze sculpture is still one of the exceptions. People who are current collectors of bronze sculpture already understand how long the process of acquiring a bronze can take, but for “first timers”, they are often surprised. Leaving aside the length of time it takes the artist to actually sculpt a piece (for commissions, this will depend on the complexity of the piece involved), the length of production time for a piece of bronze can range anywhere from 6 - 10 weeks, depending on the schedules of foundry and production artisans). To understand this wait time, it helps to understand at least a little about the process.
In short, once an original sculpture is created, a silicone rubber mold with a plaster or resin mother mold is made over the sculpture. The silicone captures all the tiny details and nuances of the original sculpture. When the mold is set and cured, the mold is opened, and the original sculpture is removed. The mold is then cleaned and prepared. For each new sculpture order, a new wax is poured into the mold. This wax version of the sculpture is then removed, and all imperfections from the wax pour, and seam lines from where the mold fit together are repaired, so that the wax is an exact match to the original sculpture and what the Artist created. This new wax is then sent to the foundry, where the real production magic begins anew. Because each piece starts again, this makes each new sculpture unique. This process may seem long in our daily world of instant gratification, but special unique works of art are worth waiting for - especially when that object that could be handed down through generations, and around for hundreds of years!
At the time of this posting, I actually have quite a few sculpture pieces currently in my inventory that can ship quickly. If the piece you are interested in is not in inventory, the general production time listed above will apply. Once I receive your order, I will be in contact to let you know what to expect, or you can certainly contact me via phone or email with any questions you might have. If the piece you have selected is meant to be a gift for a certain special occasion, but is not currently in my inventory, a photograph of the sculpture, along with a special announcement, will be sent to help honor their special day.
JUST HOW MANY ARTISANS AND OTHERS DOES IT TAKE TO PRODUCE A BRONZE SCULPTURE, AND SHOW IT TO THE WORLD?
My adventures in 3-D work began with a wood carving class in 2000. In 2003, on one of those rare flukes of fate that cause us to turn right instead of left, I ended up spending 4 days in an east coast foundry seeing one of my wood carvings become my first bronze, and learning how this complicated bronze process works. I was hooked. Shortly afterwards, I was perusing a sculpture show in Minneapolis, and randomly stopped two women sculptors (who, oddly, now both live in Colorado) to find out just how much of the actual production process each of them did themselves. The first one told me that she and her husband, plus one employee, did every job you will see on the list below, except for the actual metal pour. The second artist told me that she came to sculpture later in life, and so she did what she did best, sculpting! She let others do all of her production work.
Each artist has unique skills and abilities, and can choose varying amounts of hands-on participation in the production process. Some artists turn over total production to foundries and other artisans, sometimes as many as 11 other people! Due to the level of detail and accuracy in my sculpting style, and as a lifelong DIYer, I doubted I would be totally comfortable with that practice, and after talking with these fellow sculptors, I realized then and there that it would be up to me to decide just how much of this process I was willing to learn and take on. Over the years, I have gradually learned or participated in most of the various aspects of production, outside of the direct foundry work (spruing, investment, molten metal pours, shell removal and welding), and professional photography. I appreciate the hands-on quality control this gives me over certain aspects of the production. Depending on my schedule and other variables, I now do a good portion of my own production work. These jobs can include mold making, wax pouring, wax chasing, metal chasing, and patina work. But I have also had to realize that the more time I put into production tasks, the less time and energy I have available for actually creating new art. As with the rest of life, everything is a tradeoff! So, I do some of the production some of the time, and turn some of it over to other handpicked independent skilled and trusted artisans when necessary. This way, I can oversee what is happening and have more control over the final piece.
During shows and exhibitions across the country, I have often heard people mutter about how expensive bronze sculpture is. Realizing that people really have no idea why bronze is “high-end art”, I finally sat down and made up at least a partial list of all the very skilled people who, both directly and indirectly, have a hand in bringing sculpture to the world. Click on the job title below to see photos of just what part of the production each artisan is responsible for - those who also earn their livelihoods from the sculptures before you.
Foundry Sprue and Gate Person
Foundry Investment Room Operator
Foundry Metal Pourers
Foundry Shell Removal Operator
Metal Chaser and Welder
Of course, there is the broadening web of others who, while they have no direct hands-on involvement with the sculpture, are still very much a part of bringing the joy of sculpture out into the world to be loved. They include:
Gallery owners and staff
Show Organizers and staff
Materials and Equipment Suppliers
The Clerical Staff of all businesses
Insurance companies (Auto, Business, etc.)
Auto and Trailer Repair
The list is truly endless! And perhaps knowing some of this will help you to view sculpture in a little different light!
NEED SOME SUGGESTIONS TO HELP VISUALIZE WHERE YOU MIGHT PLACE A TREASURED SCULPTURE?
Depending on size and esthetics, sculptures can be placed in a variety of locations such as homes, offices, lobbies, entrances, gardens, public art spaces, parks, etc. Indoors, they can be placed on tables, shelves, pedestals, sometimes even bathtub edges! Outdoors, they can be placed in rock gardens, on rock walls or railings, on permanent pads or raised base. (They can even be placed in a water setting as long as their base is slightly above water level. I have always envisioned my mother alligator and babies from "The Swimming Lesson" in this type of setting!) Almost all of my pieces are designed and and come set for anchors that will allow for outdoor placement. If outdoor placement is something you would be interested in, please contact me to learn more.
If there is a sculpture that you love, but the cost seems daunting for your current budget, I do offer a 3 – 6 month layaway plan. Benefits to the Collector who chooses this option are:
- A reduced initial outlay on your sculpture.
- Layaway allows you to plan for its arrival when the sculpture is meant to be a secret gift for special person or holiday.
- It allows new first-time buyers to ease their way into collecting art.
- If you desire an early casting of new work, you can reserve a certain edition number for your art collection.
If you feel such an arrangement would better fit your needs and budget, please contact me for further details!
SALES TAX INFORMATION FOR LIMITED EDITION SALES
Due to changes in the sales tax laws as of January 1, 2019, online sales now require sales tax to be collected for the area where goods are to be shipped. At this point, because I am a Colorado business, this only applies to art that I ship to addresses within the state of Colorado.
SCULPTURE SHIPPING DETAILS - WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT
* I offer free standard shipping on all bronze sculpture within the Contiguous U.S.
Depending on delicacy, a small bronze piece can often safely be wrapped in polar fleece, bubble-wrapped, and double boxed for shipment. Most sculpture, however, will require a standard custom foam-in-place crate to properly protect both the bronze and its patina during shipment. When your sculpture is ready for shipment, I will bring your sculpture to my local shipper, “Shippers Supply”, in Loveland, Colorado. Due to the large number of fine art bronze foundries in my area (a holdover from the area’s mining days), Loveland, Colorado is the premiere bronze production capital in the US. Shippers Supply is an expert when it comes to the crating and protection of bronze sculpture, and they provide excellent service. I will provide them with your shipping address, and you will be provided with a tracking number to follow the shipment's progress and know your delivery date. Most crated sculpture can go UPS or FedEx. Only very heavy/large crates need to go FedEx freight. You are free to make any other shipping arrangements you might wish, or even to pick up your sculpture in person, if that suits you.
If you have any other questions about this, I would be happy to speak with you either by phone or email!