Saturday, December 22, 2012

How To Produce A Bronze Miniature Figurine - Grinding

Work started this week in the studio on "Blast Off." and "Ice Cream." These are two special edition bronze pieces featuring mice. Here is a picture.

After the casting, the sprues are cut off as discussed in the last entry. Here is a picture of the raw bronzes. They are closely inspected for defects. Only the good castings are used. Failed castings are melted down in the next cast.

The first step is to grind the bottoms flat. This is a very tricky step where many pieces have met their doom. If too much metal is removed, the piece is ruined. The procedure is done on a 1" belt sander. The piece must be held perfectly straight so that when finished it does not lean. In order to do this step, you must have good hand-eye coordination. Also the piece gets very hot from friction so it must be dipped in water to cool every few seconds. To help protect my fingers, I wear a latex glove.

One of the dangers in this process is the belt ripping while grinding. When the belt rips like this, the piece usually gets ruined because it tips forward into the belt, grinding off important detail.

Here the bottoms have all been ground flat.

Next step is to use a diamond bur on a rotary tool and remove any imperfections on the surface. This is a slow and time consuming process but must be done correctly otherwise the paint will show the flaws. On these two pieces, almost the entire surface area must be burnished because of the smooth areas in the design. Took me two days to complete the meticulous grinding on these pieces.

Now that the grinding is finished, the next step is to inspect them one more time, then wash and seal. That will be the next update.

Thanks for your interest,
Randall Zadar
Sculptor/Zadar Studios

To order Zadar Miniatures, please contact the listed dealers:

Shoalts Collectibles 419-836-9227
Through The Keyhole 214-691-7467
Larrianne's Small Wonders 805-289-1508
Miniature Designs 800-413-2040

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