To see more and discover the full range of casts we do in every material visit the Examples page.
Cold Cast Bronze Resin
Also known as bronze resin or resin bronze, this finish resembles foundry bronze castings but at a significantly lower cost. They are essentially fibreglass shell sculptures with a surface layer containing a very high real metal content, which gives the cast its colour and lustre. This coating is a blend of about 20% resin and 80% powdered bronze, which is polished to expose and shine the metal, looking to all intents and purposes like a solid bronze casting. This coating can be cast into a mould or applied to the surface of an existing cast, whichever is most appropriate.
One huge advantage over foundry castings, besides the lower price, is that they are extremely light but very strong and are easily hung on the wall on just a picture hook or nail. Our wall-mounted casts will come ready to hang with string or picture wire on the reverse. In smaller castings we may use the bronze resin to create solid, more weighty casts which can be free standing or attached to a base. Because bronze is a heavy metal, these solid casts are reassuringly weighty, adding to their sense of quality.
Cold castings are warm to the touch, unlike foundry metal castings, and are more easily scratched or damaged than real bronze. They are however a brilliant compromise when cost is a factor, offering beautiful, high end, bespoke portrait sculptures to anyone, irrespective of income.
Ageing and Oxidation
Bronze is a reactive metal which oxidises and changes colour in contact with air as well as the acids from our skin. Thus these castings will change slowly over time to develop a deeper, richer colour in the same way a bright copper coin slowly becomes more chocolate in colour. We wax them to maintain the original colour as long as possible but it won’t last indefinitely. Excessive handling and damp environments will accelerate the ageing process. They may be returned to us periodically for refurbishing if you like, although generally people enjoy the slow and subtle ageing.
Just like fondry bronze, the exposed metal surface of these casts can also be aged with chemical patinas to mimic the effect of age and weather. A ‘verdigris’ green is thus another option although it’s more pronounced on copper resins.
Cold casting is also not limited to metals. Any material that can be powdered and mixed with resin can be cold cast. So stone powders like marble and slate are options as well as graphite, talc etc. Many decorative finishes are possible beyond the classical metals. See the Cold Cast Other page for examples.
During the late 1950’s a UK based sculptor called John Tiranti developed the “Cold Cast Resin Metal” process which was to make such an impact in his field. Using the newly available synthetic resins, developed during after after the second world war, it provided an improved technique to that of bronze coloured plaster casts which were their predecessor. This breakthrough transformed the sculpture world for ever, providing an alternative to expensive foundry based, lost wax, bronze casting. Available to any sculptor, amateur or professional, without the need for special equipment it has radically changed the way sculptors work and produce originals, often being used as a sample before taking orders for the same piece in foundry bronze.
With the introduction to the marketplace of silicone rubber for mould making in the mid-sixties, the cold casting process really took off. Half a century later the method remains unchanged and is far more widely used than foundry bronze, providing high quality sculptures at prices affordable by most.