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Male Nude Figurative Sculpture by Kelly Borsheim

[seer male nude bronze sculpture oracle future]

(More images below)

"Seer"

bronze with marble base
one-of-a-kind sculpture
11" x 4" x 3"
© 2011
Kelly Borsheim

Private Collection ~ Austin, Texas


"Seer" Contemporary Bronze Male Figurative Sculpture:

Oracles and other fortunetellers have been popular and intriguing since man became aware of himself. Curiosity being one of our human traits is another reason that we sometimes want to know our futures before we experience or create them. A seer can look into the future. Knowledge brings a kind of peace that ignorance never can. He looks off into the distance, slightly up with a pleasant and knowing expression. This bronze figure sculpture features a nude man sitting on a circle representing life and the changing future life. This is a one-of-a-kind bronze sculpture.
~ Kelly Borsheim, sculptor

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Bronze Casting Male Figurative Sculpture "Seer"

The original sculpture was created directly in wax, using primarily dental type of tools and occasionally heat. Temperature is everything; even a degree makes a difference. Here are some images of the original wax figure. It is interesting to work with something so dark. It helps me to see the overall shape as an abstraction. I find this form interesting the way it juts out into the space surrounding it.

[wax figure sculpture male nude]

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When I received an opportunity to cast bronze in Austin, Texas, at the Atelier 3-d with artist and teacher Steve Dubov, I signed right up. Always interested in process, Steve uses a different kind of investment mold and alters his technique for the lost wax bronze casting method.

So, I created a couple of new sculptures in wax. In my art post on April 15, I shared something of my creating the sprue, the wax sculpture connected to a wax funnel that will all ultimately become bronze.

[wax sprue sculpting male nude figure for bronze casting]

While I need my wax welds to be strong, these things are a bit fragile and oddly shaped, each sprue being individual. My bumpity dirt driveway that is almost a mile long helps nothing. So, I have transported the wax floating in a bucket of water. This greatly diminished the vibration and shock on the piece, although I still had water sloshing around in my car. Sheesh, I must continue to fill the driveway potholes with stone chips!

[wax sprue sculpting male nude figure for bronze casting]

[wax sprue sculpting male nude figure for bronze casting]

In the image above on the left, air conditioning metal tubing has been used to create a "mother mold" (the outer supporting mold). The next image shows me holding the sprue. Below, I am holding my sprue to keep it from floating, pour funnel at the top opening with the sculptures deeper, parallel to the side walls. Steve is pouring a mixture of plaster, playground sand, and water into the mother mold. Once this mold has set, holes will be lightly punched into just the metal tubing to release steam later during the pouring of the molten bronze.

[wax sprue sculpting male nude figure for bronze casting]

After the mold is ready, it will be heated and all of the wax will be melted out (hence the term "The Lost Wax Process" in bronze casting). Now the sculpture is only an air space. Bronze will be heated to about 2000 degrees F so that it becomes a liquid. Then it will be poured into the funnel-shaped opening, travel down the air space, follow the sprue space to fill the sculpture space, and then chase air out the vents. The bronze begins cooling as soon as it is poured, so everything in the pour moves fairly quickly.

I did not attend the bronze pour since I was working in my studio on my stone carving. This fourth image shows you the bronze pieces after Steve cut away the mold and then cut apart each sculpture from the cooled bronze sprue parts. He left some of the sprue on so that I could put the art into a vice as I chase the metal.

[wax sprue sculpting male nude figure for bronze casting]

[male nude figure for bronze casting sculpture]

"Chasing" means cleaning up all of the metal sculpture so that it looks as I intended. This often means grinding off all sprues and vents and re-sculpting those connection points as desired. On larger artworks, "chasing" also includes welding all parts of the sculpture together, and then grinding out all evidence of the weld in the visible areas of the sculpture.

In this last image, you may see that the investment mold cracked and allowed bronze to leak out beyond the sculpture and into the crack. It is too bad that I did not plan ahead for this… this bronze has a cool pattern. It is a bit nautical, like a merman's fins, eh? I also like this photo because of the way the light is bouncing off of the various facets that I carved into the original wax sculpture. One of the things I enjoy about bronze is the ability to create a texture that is quite different from what I can create in stone.

This is likely to take me days to clean up to my satisfaction and later add a patina to my new sculpture. So, stay tuned . . .


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Last Page Update: 28 October 2015