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The Art of Permanence


As an art form, casting has long enjoyed a prominent place in the methods for creation at the disposal of sculptors. Metal casting is a technique for creating three-dimensional work that stretches far back into history. Some of the world’s most renown sculptures were created through various metal casting procedures. Whether it is the tactile endeavor of the lost-wax method or contemporary techniques that make use of chemicals and automation, casting can accommodate the creation of metal works of virtually any size.

Sculptures created through various metal casting techniques even played the role that today’s mass media takes on. When politicians wished for the public know something about their character in the past, rather than “tweet” out their opinion, a statue of the ruler that symbolically reflected their ideals was created. Many of the likeness from ancient rulers of the Greek and Roman worlds come down to us through casted metal sculptures. Although casted sculpture has gone through many fluctuations in terms of popularity throughout history, many of the greatest masters utilized this technique at one time or another. Leonardo Da Vinci and Raphael are merely two Renaissance artists that embraced the process.

Artists today still use this technique, however, pieces tend to be smaller and rarer due to the increased value that has been placed on the metals that are typically used in metal casting projects. Copper, steel and iron are in much greater demand in contemporary society. Nonetheless, sculpture students are trained in metal casting techniques all across the nation. It is not unusual for undergraduate programs to conclude their sculptural curriculum with a “metal pour” in which each student is exposed to this time-honored tradition of creating sculpture that will last for hundreds of years. Metal casting is not limited to the world of artistic creation by any means. Variations of metal casting is put to great use in a huge number of industrial processes across the nation as well.

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