Bronze: Cold Working Part 1

After pouring the bronze and cracking open the mould, I began to work the surfaces to try and achieve the polished finish that I am looking for. I began by chiselling off the bits of bronze which has seeped into the cracks in the mould as the bronze expanded and contacted during the transition between liquid and solid states. Once I had finish doing this, I sandblasted the whole piece to remove any residual sand and give the surface a uniform finish, which looked really nice. The sand had given the surface a red hue which was really interesting. After competing the sandblasting, the first thing I realised was how many holes and defects there were in the surface. What I decided to do was fill in the major holes using the TIG welder and get the surface up to a standard that I am happy with, re-evaluating how the surfaces looks with the fissures at that point. The defects in the bronze are mainly down the sand mould, which is not as strong as a ceramic mould. Therefore the tensions present in the bronze between areas of thick and thin result in the bronze actually pulling itself apart creating the lines of fissures which you can see in the pictures.

So I began the very long process of first grinding down the surface, then using a sanding attachment on the air tool to smooth the surface. Once I was happy with the uniformity of the surface I used the TIG welder to fill in the holes and grind these down flush with the surface. The next stage of this will require sanding the surface with wet and dry and the polishing it up.

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