To see more and discover the full range of casts we do in every material visit the Examples page.
Cold Cast Iron Resin
Also known as iron resin or resin iron, this finish resembles foundry cast iron 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 real metal colour. This coating is a blend of about 20% resin and 80% powdered iron, which is polished to expose and shine the metal, looking to all intents and purposes like a solid iron 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 iron resin to create solid, more weighty casts which can be free standing or attached to a base. Because iron is heavy, these solid casts are reassuringly weighty, adding to their sense of quality.
Cold castings are warm to the touch, unlike foundry metal castings, and less easily damaged than real cast iron which is quite brittle. They are a brilliant compromise when cost is a factor, offering beautiful, high end, bespoke portrait sculptures to anyone, irrespective of income.
Ageing and Oxidation
Iron is a reactive metal which oxidises and changes colour in contact with water or even moist air. Thus if located outdoors these castings will change over time to develop a deep, rich rust colour in the same way that exposed iron does.
We generally take advantage if this by deliberately ageing the iron in the surface with our own blend of chemicals to mimic the effect of age and weather. This rusty finish if what most people choose but a non-rusted gunmetal type finish is also an option.
We can wax them to maintain this black iron colour as long as possible but it won’t last indefinitely. Ditto the rusty iron can be waxed to produce a darker more lustrous effect. Excessive handling and damp environments will accelerate the ageing process so be aware a non rusty piece may eventually become so. They may be returned to us periodically for refurbishing if you like, although generally people enjoy the rust.
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.