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Cobble Cast Bronze Sculptures

Beautiful solid bronze sculptures of Australian animals and birds by Pete Smit of Cobble Cast Australia. Cobble Cast uses the lost wax process for all their bronze casting which faithfully reproduces the exquisite detail produced by the artist in the original sculpture

The Artist

Pete Smit from Cobble Cast
Pete Smit with Sir Syd

Pete Smit (founder of Cobble Cast Australia) was born in South Africa and raised on the magnificent Cape Peninsula. In 1970 Pete headed to Australia and soon discovered that he was better suited to more practical pursuits than he had previously been used to. More importantly he soon realised that he had arrived in the land of his dreams and he embraced his new freedom with great enthusiasm.

Many years later Pete decided that the time had come to settle down and so he teamed with a good looking young lass, Louise, and started looking for some answers. After much wandering Pete and his wife Louise finally settled in Queensland to set up home from where Cobble Cast was born. Working from their leafy country property Pete and Louise cast all their own work in their foundry thereby eliminating the problems associated with working through another bronze foundry not under their control.

As a result of the many years spent working in the bush, Pete has a deep respect and understanding of nature and relies on this for his inspiration. Entirely self taught, he relies on his wife Louise as his major critic for his work.

The winner of numerous awards, he has also been fortunate enough to have been handed many exciting commissions. Some of Pete's work remains in Australia, but the majority of his bronzes find homes throughout the world

The Process

Cast bronze sculpture by Cobble Cast
The fine detail achieved
by the lost wax process
is shown in this Cobble
Cast bronze cockatoo
sculpture

The "lost wax" method of casting used by Cobble Cast dates back thousands of years to ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome. Although the process is very old, it is still the best method for capturing the exquisite detail in Cobble Cast's bronze sculptures.

The first step, and the most important, is to create a clay original model of the sculpture to be made into bronze. All the detail and features that the artist wants in the finished piece must appear on the clay model. Care must be taken to capture even the smallest detail. Depending on the size of the sculpture, the mold is then cut into sections for casting.

Molten wax is then poured into the rigid mold. It is poured in layers to the thickness desired in the finished piece. This wax model is an exact duplicate of the original casting. "Gates" or channels, made up of wax rods, are added to the model to insure an evenly distributed casting of the metal. The plaster mold is then placed in a pit of sand or similar material to hold it in place for the pour.

When molten bronze is poured into the mold, the liquid metal burns out and replaces the wax model; thus, the lost wax part of the process. The metal then cools and hardens, forming an identical sculpture in bronze.

The piece is then finished by hand. The gates must be cut off. The parts are welded together and much grinding, polishing and buffing must be done.

Many of Cobble Cast's bronze sculptures are then given a rich verdigris patina to help protect the bronze and add to its appeal.

Testimonials

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Australian Fine Art Gallery Testimonials


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