Work in Progress



Each year there are new sculptures and and paintings created by Dodson Studios.  Those sculptures and paintings will be featured here in Work In Progress Gallery.  Please contact us for purchasing information and availability at 602-549-9055 or email us at

The Lost Wax Process

The lost wax process at Dodson Studios dates back thousands of years.  The original art piece may be clay, plaster, terra cotta, wood wax or even glass.

A rubber mold supported by a plaster shell is made from the original art piece. Hot wax is then poured into the mold to form walls approximately three-sixteenths of an inch thick. Pulled from the rubber mold, the cooled hallow wax becomes a positive image of the piece from which a single casting can be made.

At the wax chasing state, cleaning of the wax, original detailing is restored in the wax pattern.

Wax sprues, vents and cups are attached to the wax image to provide a path through which the liquid metal will flow.  The wax will then be fortified by a ceramic shell.  The shell will consist of 7 to 16 coats, depending on the size and shape of the piece.  The next step, the wax is "lost," melted in a kiln and drained from the hollow shell.  This shell is strengthened by a firing in the kiln and drained from the hollow shell.  This shell is strengthened by a firing in the kiln at 1500 degrees Fahrenheit.

Bronze is melted by a gas fired furnace in a crucible.  The molten metal is then poured into the ceramic shell and cooled.  The shell is chipped away, the sprues are cut off and the emerging metal sculpture is sandblasted to remove any ceramic remains.

Sculptures which have been cast in pieces are assembled and welded together.  Removing traces of the welds, reconditioning and restoring the bronze is know as metal chasing.  In this critical step, great care is taken to recreate the original image using hand-held grinding tools.

Next, the patina, or coloring, is applied by brushing or spraying on the chemicals which react to create different colors and accelerate the natural oxidation of the sculpture.  The range of tints and textures available is virtually unlimited.

Finally, a base if required, is selected and the piece is mounted.  It is verified by a certificate of authenticity, carefully packaged and shipped.

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