Dating bronze sculptures
The completed rubber mold, a "negative" version of the artist's "positive" original, becomes the new master from which all copies in an edition are made.
The next step creates the second "positive" in the process: a wax duplicate of the artist's original.
Just how "original" is a piece of bronze sculpture?
By observing the process of creating such a piece, either one-of-a-kind or one in a limited-edition series, it becomes clear that each is unique.
The "embedded mold" method begins with the original sculpture being halfway embedded in soft water clay.
Silicone rubber is meticulously painted on the exposed half; then a plaster shell is fashioned over the hardened rubber.
Hours, and perhaps days, of painstaking dressing (correcting) the wax assure faithful reproduction of the original.
The Renaissance sparked an interest in the practice and saw a rise in the technology used to make replicas of works.
Constantin Brancusi is known for his highly polished bronze editions like “Bird in Space” (1928) and “Sleeping Muse” (1910).
Other artists who worked with bronze sculpture include Edgar Degas, Umberto Boccioni, Henry Moore, Alberto Giacometti, Henri Matisse, Jasper Johns, Rowan Gillespie, and Jacob Epstein.
Auguste Rodin is known for bringing an Impressionist touch to the medium, crafting works like “The Thinker” (1902) and “The Three Shades” (1886).
Many copies of his works now reside as bronze garden sculptures.
The Industrial Revolution further advanced these tools, allowing artists to create bronze sculpture in easy-to-produce editions.