For the Love of Bronze

IMG_1928Little did I know, but I was in for a real treat on my last visit to Milwyn Fine Art Foundry.  If you’ve been following my blog for a while you’ll already know how much I love bronze, the alchemy of it and the ancient skills involved in the processes (previous blog posts are in the archives – Sep and Jul 2011).  But for all that, I had never witnessed an actual ‘pour’…


The clue was the gentle roar emanating from the corner of the foundry and the flames rising up from the furnace.  I had only gone to check the metal work on my latest two commissions and to oversee patination so I was super excited when Alex mentioned that I might also get to witness the pour of his latest batch.


IMG_1954Every now and again Alex would pop across to cautiously drop another bronze ingot into the hungry flames.  They were now taking on an impressive green hue – I guess from the high copper content of the bronze…

Eventually, Alex declared that it was time to start suiting up – all manner of protection, from dark glasses through ear defenders and heavy overalls & gauntlets.



Alex swung open the furnace and the workshop suddenly took on a menacing orange hue and the air temperature climbed noticeably – I stared into the crucible of palpably menacing molten bronze – now an incandescent bright orange.


Before swinging out the crucible with the aid of an overhead gantry and pulleys, Alex ladled off impurities – he was then ready for the pour itself…

What really surprised me was just how liquid molten bronze is – I thought it might be like say syrup but in fact it was as viscous as water.



The molten bronze is poured into the ceramic shell moulds which themselves are buried in a sand box with only the entry funnels showing.  Alex made it look easy as he dextrously wheeled the glowing crucible and poured the precious metal – without spilling a drop!

For more information on Milwyn, you can see their web site here;






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1 Response to For the Love of Bronze

  1. That’s a vivid description of the process – I can feel the heat from here 🙂

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