Bollinger Atelier is a fine arts foundry specializing in bronze casting and sculpture fabrication services

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Services

Casting Process
Resin Bonded Sand Casting
Enlargement
Molds
Wax
Bases

Shell
Metal Fabrication
Patinas
Digital Enlargement
Computerized Hot Wire
3D Scanning

Milling
Design Services
Consultation
Shipping and Installation
Maintenance

 

Casting Process

The fine art casting process is an intricate and delicate process that goes back centuries but has been improved by modern invention and technology.
We cast using the lost wax-cire perdue-process. In abbreviated summary, the steps in the process are these:

ORIGINAL:
Fashioning the clay Maquette

ENLARGEMENT:
Enlargement-small to large

MOLD:
Rubber mold-positive to negative

WAX:
Wax impression-negative back to positive
Wax chasing and dressing
Wax gating

SHELL:
Investment mold
Preheat
Burnout

METAL FABRICATION:
Pour
Divestment
Cut-off
Metal chasing and assembly

PATINA:
Patination

 


Original clay maquette

 


Final product with base


 

Resin Bonded Sand Casting: "The Other Process"

Along with the ceramic shell casting, Bollinger Atelier offers resin bonded sand casting. This process is a viable option if the sculpture is a large scale sculpture which requires large panels to be cast for reassembly later. We have the capacity to cast up to 30 sq. ft., or 1290 LB in one sand mold, to meet this requirement.

By utilizing positive rubber patterns w/plaster backings, made from negative plaster "dump" molds, we are able to produce similar quality castings to ceramic shell castings with high levels of detail and undercuts. We have used this process on many large scale projects, even in combination with ceramic shell castings. For example, we have used the resin bonded sand cast process to cast the body of a 2 x life-size horse and the ceramic shell casting process to cast the head, mane, tail, legs, and hooves. There is no discernible difference in the surface quality, degree of detail and/or patina application techniques.

 


 

Enlargement

ORIGINAL:
Fashioning the clay Maquette. The artist first sculpts in clay a conceptual "maquette," which is usually much smaller than will be the final statue. In this case, the sculptor, Susan Henningsen, sculpted a maquette about a foot high. Next the sculptor may make a larger clay model. The one made for the Justice O'Connor statue was three feet tall. The sculptor modifies and refines this model.

ENLARGEMENT:

Enlargement-small to large. The model is enlarged in styrofoam to the eventual size of the final statue, in this case to one and one-third life size, over nine feet tall. The most modern method is digital enlarging, used for the Justice O'Connor statue. The model is scanned by a 3D scanner and the foam cut by an automated milling machine. The artist then coats the foam model with clay and sculpts the clay into the final form.


 

Molds


Rubber mold-positive to negative. The clay-covered foam statue is coated with a urethane-rubber compound that sets to create a flexible "negative" mold. The exterior of the mold is coated with plaster, fiberglass or urethane plastic. This makes the rubber mold rigid while leaving untouched the interior negative impression in the mold, from which the styrofoam is removed and discarded. The mold is designed to be taken apart in sections, each of which will be separately cast.

 

Wax

Wax impression-negative back to positive. Wax is then poured into the hardened "negative" rubber mold segments, recreating within each segment a "positive" wax replication of that part of the large clay-covered model. The wax impressions are from one-quarter of an inch to three-quarters of an inch thick.


Wax chasing and dressing
. The wax impressions are removed from the rubber mold segments. Imperfections are corrected and repairs made to make each wax impression an exact duplicate of that part of the clay-covered large model. Foundry artisans do this work, in which the artist may and often does participate.


Wax gating.
There is then installed into the back "negative" side of each wax impression a "sprue system" of various pour cups, down sprues, gates, fins and vents, all made of wax and all designed to prepare for the eventual pour of molten bronze.


 

Shell

Investment mold. Each wax mold segment with its sprue system is dipped into colloidal (clay-bodied) slurry. It is then coated with a layer of fine silica (sand). This process is repeated several times, beginning with a fine sand layer and progressing to layers of coarser grit. Large-scale sculptures may require up to twenty coats, with drying between each coat. The process may take up to two weeks for a large segment.

 


Preheat.
The hard ceramic shells-investment molds-which now contain a negative impression of the statue, are placed into a separate "preheat kiln" where they are "heat soaked" until they reach a uniform temperature of 1500 degrees Fahrenheit.


Burnout.
The wax segments coated with the silica investment are then placed into a large burnout kiln that has been preheated to 1650 degrees Fahrenheit. In the process the sand fuses into a hard ceramic and the wax is "lost" by being melted away through dewaxing vents in a single pour.

 

Metal Fabrication


Pour. In the most dramatic step of the entire process, molten bronze heated to 2100 degrees Fahrenheit is poured into the ceramic investment mold through the sprue system from a silicon carbide crucible. For large mold segments, up to 1290 pounds of metal can be poured in a single pour.


Divestment.
After the bronze and ceramic shell molds have cooled, the ceramic shell molds are "broken off" the bronze by use of large pneumatic hammers and hand-held air chisels.

Cut-off. The elements of the sprue system are then cut away from the cast bronze pieces by use of abrasive wheels and carbon-arc torches.

Metal chasing and assembly. Once the rough castings are completed, the segments are welded together to form the entire statue. The seam marks are erased and the metal chased to a final finish by use of a variety of electric and pneumatic tools. All imperfections are corrected and the work is completed to fulfill the vision of the sculptor.


 

Digital Enlargement


Digital enlargement-small to large:
The model is enlarged in styrofoam to the eventual size of the final statue, in this case to one and one-third life size, over nine feet tall. The most modern method is digital enlarging, used for the statue. The model is scanned by a 3D scanner and the foam cut by an automated milling machine. The artist then coats the foam model with clay and sculpts the clay into the final form.

 

Computerized Hot Wire


Computer hot wire-small to large:
The model is enlarged in styrofoam to the eventual size of the final statue, in this case to one and one-third life size, over nine feet tall. The most modern method is digital enlarging, used for the statue. The model is scanned by a 3D scanner and the foam cut by an automated milling machine. The artist then coats the foam model with clay and sculpts the clay into the final form.

 

3D Scanning


3D scanning is the process of rotationally laser scanning of the smaller "maquette" size version of the sculpture. This data is then manipulated to facilitate the toolpath patterns for the milling machine to create larger, to-scale, sections of the sculpture, which are assembled following milling.


 

Milling


Miliing is the process of CNC carving of the foam, wax, or wood 3D sculptural sections from the data derived from the 3D scan and toolpaths. Larger sculptures are done in sections and then assembled, armature attached, then clayed up and sculpted.

 

Patinas

Below are a small sample of the patinas available at Bollinger Atelier:

#2
#3
#5
#6
#7
#8
#9
#10
#11
#12
#13
#14
#15
#17
#18
#19
#20
#21
#22-A
#23-A
#23-B
#24
#25-B
#26
#29
#30-A
#30-B
#Dykem-A
#Dykem-B
#Dykem-C

 

Bases

Bollinger Atelier offers granite, marble and black walnut bases for your sculpture presentation.

Antique Brown

Rojo Alicante

Negro Monterey

Rojo Levanto

Dark Green

Ramora Brown

White Carrera
 

 

Design Services

Bollinger Atelier is pleased to offer Custom Design Services for all of your creative needs. We employee both Contemporary and Traditional artists who are sure to exceed your expectations. In addition to custom artwork, we offer various limited edition bronzes which are available for immediate purchase. Our specialties include:

Site Specific Sculpture:
(Garden & Fountain Sculpture, Architectural Adornments)

"Goddesses", Private Residence Foyer. Arcadia, AZ. Photo by AZB Photography.
"Satyr and Nymphs", Private Residence . Arcadia, AZ. Photo by AZB Photography.

"Bernini Altar Project", CCBG Architects for Christ Church of the Ascension. Paradise Valley, AZ.
Corporate Logos/Awards:
Custom Portraiture:
"Varsity Gold Corporate Award"
Varsity Gold Logo
Varsity Gold, Inc.
Gilbert, AZ.
Photo by AZB Photography.

"Lynn", Life-size Portrait.
Private Commission.
Mascots:
"Warrior of the North",
8' Bronze
Grand Forks AFB
Grand Forks, ND
"Aztec School Mascot",
5' Bronze
Corona del Sol High School
Tempe, AZ
Photo by AZB Photography.

Our artists are available to work with you to create and install bronze sculptures to compliment your residence or business.
Contact us for a quote on our Custom Design Services.

 

Other Services

CONSULTATION:
We offer consulting services for engineering, sculptural or custom design needs.

SHIPPING/DELIVERY/INSTALL:
We offer professional packing, crating and shipping to domestic and international locations and the coordination of heavy equipment rentals for final installation. We are available to coordinate with site supervisors, architects, landscape designers and engineers to ensure installation goes smoothly.

MAINTENANCE:
Cleaning and rewaxing services are available for public and private collections.

 

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Bollinger Atelier
227 S ROCKFORD DR. TEMPE, 85281 ARIZONA   T 877.579.9263   tom@bollingeratelier.com

 

BRONZE CASTING • METAL FABRICATION • PATINA FINISHING • WAX CASTING • DIGITAL ENLARGING • INSTALLATION SERIVCES