To see more and discover the full range of casts we do in every material visit the Examples page.
Cold Cast Metal Resins
Cold cast metals or ‘metal resin’ finishes resemble foundry metal castings but at a significantly lower cost. They are essentially a fibreglass shell sculptures with a surface layer containing a very high real metal content, which gives the cast its colour and lustre.
We offer cold casting in a range of metals including bronze, brass, copper, iron, aluminium and tin. With the weathering options available this provides quite a spectrum to choose from (see below).
This is not an off-the-shelf paint product. You can’t buy it. To create this coating we make our own blend of about 20% resin and 80% powdered metals, which are polished to expose and shine the metal, looking to all intents and purposes like a solid metal casting. This coating can be cast into a mould or applied to the surface of an existing cast, whichever is most appropriate. Unlike cheaper metallic paints from a can this is a hard wearing, scratch resistant finish the looks like metal and can be aged and waxed like the real thing.
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. 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 a reassuringly weighty, quality item.
Metal resins are warm to the touch, unlike foundry metal castings, and are a little less robust than solid metals. They are however a brilliant compromise when cost is a factor, offering beautiful, high end, bespoke portrait sculptures at an affordable price.
NB Although they are generally fine outdoors we would only recommend them for indoor settings as the weather would eventually take its toll. For garden locations we would suggest foundry bronze or marble.
Ageing and Oxidation
Metals tend to 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 foundry 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 on copper or bronze resin is thus another option.
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.