Everything starts with an experience.
The idea for a piece often comes out abruptly, and always appears very directly, from deep down my inner self – all my thoughts will then circle around the design and modelling of it.
Step by step I then move forward, starting by sketching or directly modelling in clay, wachs or plaster.
„You mustn’t torture the material“ – this remark by Fritz Wotruba accompanies all my experiments with something new. Every material has its own possibilities and limits which you ought to respect.
Idea and Matter
In the ideal state, the artist acts like a medium between idea and matter, beyond time and space, entirely concentrated on form, line, surface.
Sculpting is a slow process – it is delicate to define the moment of completion of a scupture, a portrait. One stays at it until it cannot be made any better, or shortly before – when it is coherent in itself. It is essential to recognize that moment.
Every lived moment, every thought and feeling, flow into this continuous process. What is being created in the studio, is a result of this experience as well as a part of it.
Now wax is poured into the negative mould, about 4mm thick, in order to create a wax positive model. It is filled with a chamotte mass to evitate deformations. Now the waxmodel is furnished with channels which unite at a higher position. This will be the sprue for the bronze. Channels for the air to escape have to be put on, too.
Now the whole piece will be enclosed by a wooden shuttering and surrounded by chamotte mass.
The wax positive with the channels is supported from all sides and ready for the oven. It goes into the oven for 2-3 days, is heated up and cooled down slowly, so that the wax will evaporate completely.
Depending on the size and shape of the sculpture this can vary and the temperature has to be controlled – the wax mustn’t burn, or leave residues. The complete waxmodel and all channels are now a cavity in the now hardened chamotte mould.
This is the magic moment of bronze casting. The bronze has been heated up to 1000 degrees celsius mor or less – here again, the sensibility and experience of the caster is essential. The bronze melt mustn’t get too hot, it would produce soot and bubbles. It still has to be hot and liquid enough to fill out every corner of the cavity.
The casting bucket filled with bronze melt is lifted up by the casters with high concentration, they pour the bronze melt into the cavities of the chamotte mould until the cavities are filled up completely. The remaining bronze melt is poured into bar moulds immediately in order to cool down and harden till the next casting ist done.
on the Road
#1 Dream Dancer!
Height 100 cm.
#2 These days in my studio- it‘s a girl!
Plaster model being worked at preparing a bronze fusion.
Planning to be poured and finished by end of january 2022.
A little wax model, being worked at as well:
more info about working process
If clay, wax, plaster or bronze – my hands are busy treating different materials all the time…they model, shape, scrape, grind incessantly. Something new emerges, something old reawakens to new life – each piece is created individually by hand and brought to completion with devotion. The same piece, with a differing patina, gains its own individual radiance.