Western Bronze Sculptures

Written by Patty Yu
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Bronze sculptures often depict Western imagery, such as cowboys, horses, and Native Americans. The coloring that bronze sculptures take on is highly appropriate for Western themed statues, creating a rustic, antique feel. Famous sculptures like those that Frederic Remington created beautifully detail men on bucking horses--works that are still reproduced today.

The Casting Method

Modern bronze casting methods are little different from the methods used thousands of years ago. Nearly identical steps and materials are used today to produce beautiful bronze art. Bronze alloys today, however, have a tendency to expand just a bit as they set, which is highly desirable because the bronze fills every last detail of the mold.

To make a bronze sculpture, an artist will follow a series of steps that may take weeks or months, depending on how large and intricate the piece. A model is made first, which is necessary to create a rubber mold. The rubber mold is used to make another wax model. Finally, a ceramic mold is made using the wax model. Molten bronze is poured into the ceramic mold in layers and a heavy but hollow statue is created.

Bronze sculptures from thousands of years ago usually develop a beautiful natural patina, which is caused by exposure to air and minerals. Modern bronze making utilizes chemical treatments to create the same type of reaction on statues for an instant patina. Since bronze is practically indestructible, artwork can be passed down for generations and become valuable family heirlooms.

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