Initial model

All the map tiles start out with a series of foamboard contours which are then covered roughly in oil based clay to get the shape of the landscape.

01-foamboard-contours-1 02-foamboard-contours-2 03-rough-clay

The detail on the surface is then modelled in oil based clay, paper mache, or a combination of the two, with found elements sometimes incorporated into the design.

04-paper-mache-on-rough-clay 05-clay-design 06-paper-mache-and-additions 07-paper-mache-and-clay

Creating a mould

The design is then sealed with shellac and a silicon and plaster mould made of it.

08-shellac-sealed 09-first-coat-of-mould 10-final-silicon-mould 11-final-mould

Wax and shell

Wax is then painted into the mould and then sprued up to create channels for the bronze to flow into the design and air to come out of it.

12-wax-in-mould 13-wax-ready

A ceramic shell is built up in layers around the wax, the wax melted out and then the shell reinforced.

14-first-coat 15-shells-drying 16-reinforcing-the-shell

Casting

The shell is heated again and supported in a bed of sand. The bronze is melted and poured into the hot shell.

17-shell-ready-to-pour 18-pouring-bronze

Finishing

Once cool, the shell is removed and the sprues removed and tidied up.

19-removing-shell-1 20-removing-shell-2 21-removing-sprues-1 22-removing-sprues-2

The base is then welded on.

23-setting-up-to-weld-1 24-setting-up-to-weld-2 25-welding-1 26-welding-2

The bronze is then heated up and chemicals applied when hot to patinate (colour) the piece.

27-patination-1 28-patination-2 29-laquering 31-waxing

The piece is then lacquered and waxed before being polished and the base sanded and sealed.

32-polishing 33-sanding-base