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Bronze reduction

The technique of “bronze reduction” in sculpture production is a method used to replicate or resize existing sculptures, particularly those made of bronze. This process allows for the creation of a smaller (or larger) version of an original sculpture while maintaining the proportions and details of the original piece.

Here’s a general overview of the process:

1. **Creation of a Master Model**: Initially, a master model is created. This model is usually a replica of the original sculpture and is made from a pliable material like clay or wax.

2. **Making a Mold**: From this master model, a mold is created. This mold can be made of various materials but is typically made of plaster or a similar substance.

3. **Casting the Bronze**: The mold is then used to cast the bronze sculpture. The casting is done using the traditional lost-wax casting method. In this method, a wax model is made from the mold, and then molten bronze is poured into the mold after the wax is melted and drained away.

4. **Reduction Process**: The key aspect of bronze reduction is resizing the sculpture. This involves either scaling down the original model using a pointing machine, a traditional tool used to measure and replicate the dimensions of a sculpture accurately, or employing more modern techniques like 3D scanning and printing to create a scaled model.

5. **Finishing Touches**: After the casting, the sculpture undergoes finishing processes. This includes chasing (refining the surface and details), patination (coloring the surface), and polishing.

The bronze reduction technique is particularly valuable in the art world for creating editions of a sculpture, making art more accessible. It also allows artists and foundries to produce works at different scales, catering to various spaces and collectors’ preferences. This technique preserves the artistic integrity and details of the original work, ensuring that even scaled-down versions are true to the artist’s original vision.

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