Enquire about Henry Dinning
‘From Wood to Bronze’
Henry is one of those rarities: a self-taught enthusiast who is very good at what he does. Henry works with hardwood collected from fallen trees that line the waterways of North-East Victoria. On his frequent fishing expeditions, he always keeps a sharp eye out not only for snakes but also for timber that could be suitable for sculpting and refining. Having collected his raw material, Henry explores each piece shaping and searching for the inherent qualities it possesses. He works without preconceptions, allowing each piece to develop a form and a shape peculiar to it. No two pieces are ever, can ever, be the same. He works with minimal intervention, retaining and accentuating the unique, natural characteristics of each piece. When satisfied with the form, shape and lines of selected pieces, Henry has them cast in bronze, using the ancient ‘lost wax’ method of bronzing. In their finished bronzed state, the pieces take on an alluring and sensual quality that is pleasing both to the touch and to the eye. Each piece is numbered and signed.
The Lost Wax Method of Casting Bronze Sculptures
This process dates back over 4000 years and has been used by every ancient culture, It reached its peak of technical proficiency with the ancient Greeks. In the ‘lost wax’ process of bronze casting, the artist’s model sculpted in clay, wood, wax or plaster is used to make a multi segmented plaster or rubber mold. The mold is a perfect negative of the original work. Melted wax is poured into the mold and swirled around making a thin impression of the sculpture. The mold is then separated leaving a positive wax model of the sculpture. This wax blank is refined, adding additional detail or even changing the model. Spues and vents of wax are attached to the wax model to allow for the smooth flow of the molten bronze and for gases to escape. This unique wax is covered with a slurry of fire retardant ceramic shell and a core of slurry is inserted to minimise the amount of bronze required. The slurry covered wax is then heated and the melted wax flows out, thus the term lost wax’. Once the wax is gone it leaves a void that will be replaced by the bronze. Molten bronze is poured and when cooled the shell and core are broken and spues and vents are cut off. Any roughness is hand finished to remove the traces of the casting process leaving an exact copy of the wax model. Each new bronze is numbered indicating the edition number and the artist will inscribe his/her name or initial. The final process in the creation of a bronze is the patina or finish that is applied to the surface of the bronze. The surface patina that you see on a bronze sculpture is a forced tarnishing created by applying different acids and other chemicals to the surface. The resulting colour depends on which chemicals are applied.