Casting Bronze

Hot Metal
Pouring Hot Metal

For a while I worked at the Pratt Fine Art Foundry in Seattle. I really enjoyed working with metal. I had started with (gas) welding steel, but when I found out how much fun working with bronze was, I was hooked. I worked at developing skills with various styles, many times using natural objects instead of wax models. I cast apples, banana, onion, artichoke, and small trees. I tried casing a trout once, but that didn’t work so well. And the folks in the foundry claimed that when it was in the kiln, it attracted all the neighborhood cats (not likely).

Below is one of my favorites: my hand. I made a model by dripping hot wax from a candle on my hand until it was covered and when the wax was cool and hardened, carefully removed my hand. Then I poured the art wax into the model, removed the candle wax and cast what was left. I was quite pleased with the fact that most of the skin texture and fingerprint patterns showed up.

Unfortunately, all the plaster dust just gave me one sinus infection after another and I had to retire my foundry work.

Need A Hand, Anyone?

Lost Banana Process

Bronze Banana

I spent some time at the Pratt Fine Art Foundry and I really enjoyed it. But I was drawn to the technical aspects of pouring bronze and the challenge of the “post production” work. There were times when I was just wanting to take natural objects and see what happened when you used the investment casting process. That process was typically known as “lost wax” due to the use of wax models that evaporate during the time in the kiln. One particular failure was the “lost fish process” when I tried to make a cast of a rainbow trout. There were comments that the neighborhood cats where all hanging around … but the bones all ended up in the bottom of the bronze and were just a mess.

The lost banana was much more successful.

  • Camera: Nikon D850-
  • Lens: Nikkor 58mm
  • ISO 100 2 sec f/16

Alberta Spruce

Alberta Spruce by Allan J Jones Photography
Alberta Spruce

This is another of my bronze sculptures that I updated my portfolio photo of recently. For this one I investment cast a live dwarf Alberta Spruce. The challenge was to do the clean up work afterwards without losing all remaining needles. The branches make a wonderful range of sounds when you tweak the ends.

I invite you to visit my website ( to view my photos in a gallery format. I also have some photo essays of hiking in the Olympic National Park and some examples of other art I have done over the years. Thank you.

Tree Rings

Tree Rings in Bronze by Allan J Jones
Tree Rings in Bronze

This is a bronze cast I did of a linoleum block carving, of a photo I took of the end of a log on the beach at Carkeek Park in Seattle. It looks slanted because I trimmed the edges of the block to make it easier to remove from the mold … (I used sand casting).

So, let’s see… it’s a photo of a cast of a linoleum carving of a photo. Hmmm, seems like I’m going in circles.

I invite you to visit my website  to view my photos in a gallery format. I also have some photo essays of hiking in Olympic National Park and some examples of other art I have done over the years. Thank you.

Let Me Give You A Hand…

Bronze Hand by Allan J Jones
Bronze Hand

I have been working on updating the documentation of some of the art I have created over the years. I am putting the images on my new website … which includes photo galleries, some portfolio photos of my other art, and a few photo essays of hikes.

This is one of my favorites. It is my own hand, cast in bronze. (I wonder if Van Gogh cast his … oh, nevermind…). I coated my hand with wax, then carefully removed it and used it as a mold and poured paraffin in it and let it harden. I then used the standard investment casting process. I was really happy with the result. It even shows some of my fingerprints. I can’t get my iPhone to recognize the pattern, though.

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