Bronzes

From clay to bronze ...

When my sculptures are finished, they leave my cavern for other places, other large workshops where the work is undertaken in a team, the foundries. There the sculptures are molded. The wax is removed from the molds which are then touched up and coated. The molten bronze (a mix of copper and tin), is injected into the cylinders or shells according to the techniques. On the whole an atmosphere of fire and dust where strange helmeted Vulcans, armed with instruments of torture, preside over the birth of bears and elephants. Then comes the demolding, the most cursed task of all when the mold is broken and the raw cast is cleaned for hours with a pneumatic drill or a power hose. The chasing and finally the patina are the stages where I assume my role to the full. Entrusting your creations to others is delicate and I have to be present constantly. So, many hours, exchanges with the chasers and the patiners and verification are needed to arrive at the final
result.


Moreover, a very ancient technique : The Antikythera Ephebe, (the bronze statue of a youth which is in the National Archeological Museum in Athens) dates from the 4th century BC and the freighter which transported it from Greece to Rome sank around 90 BC. So even at that time there was a collector (or an art dealer)? who had the sculpture transported to decorate his villa. In the history of art there is inscription, as well as symbolism, such as the doe at the foot of the bronze bells of Notre Dame. Current legislation limits each edition to 12 copies (numbered from 1 to 8 and artist proofs from 1 to 4 in Roman numerals), marked with the stamp of the foundry and so contributes to making each copy a unique work. Quite often I am asked for pieces for special occasions, such as births or other important events, and I like to think that they will accompany the recipient his or her whole life. This allows my work to be permanent, in sharp contrast to our current throw-away society.

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