Making a Bronze Statue
Bronze statues were made in three different ways: hammering, casting, and the lost-wax method. In the hammering method, a smith took a flat piece of bronze and hammered and riveted it over a piece of carved wood. Casting was a method of shaping an object by pouring liquid into a mold and letting it harden. A solid bronze statue was created, and the process required a large amount of bronze, so the statues were typically smaller in size. This method allowed for the mold to be reused to make duplicates of a statue. Many small molds were used multiple times for popular statues.
The third method, the lost-wax method, made very detailed hollow statues. These statues took much less material and were lighter in weight. To make statues this way, first a wooden model would be covered with clay. Then a thin layer of wax was applied. Another layer of clay was added over the wax. The clay was then heated to harden it. The wax melted and drained out of the mold leaving a small gap between the two layers of clay. The mold was then put into a pit in the ground and packed with dirt. A small hole in the top was used to pour hot molten bronze into the gap the wax had left. After the bronze cooled, the clay was removed, and a very detailed statue was the result.