Bronze Process- Preparing to Sculpt  

In these next pages Ms. Mongeon will illustrate how she creates a sculpture and how it is cast in bronze. If you would like further detailed information on the process of sculpting, mold making, and casting you may like to read the online journal of the creation of the life-size Newsboy sculpture.

The bronze sculpture shown in the photos was created in memoriam of Kipper Mease, and has been installed in the Kipper Mease Sport Complex in Pasadena, Texas. The Kipper's parents wanted a memorial that exhibited the gracious and loving personality of their son. Ms. Mongeon focused on the old “Tip of the Hat” to express the personable nature of Kipper.

Step 1- Deciding on the pose
Ms. Mongeon meets with the collector and presents suggestions for the final sculpture. Once a direction is decided, reference material is collected.

Step 2- Gathering reference materials
For this sculpture Kipper's parents provided Ms. Mongeon with as many photos from different angles as they could find. Photo reference is invaluable when it comes to Ms. Mongeon's trademark for detailed and realistic sculptures.

In an effort to create a naturally posed sculpture Ms. Mongeon located a model of similar shape and size as Kipper and used him to shoot photos for reference material of how clothing drapes, pose and gesture.

Step 3- Initial Approval
A small scale sculpture showing the pose and outfit was created for initial approval by Kipper's parents.

Step 4- Creating the Armature
An armature gives the sculptured clay support. The armature used in Kipper's sculpture is made from a variety of materials including copper pipe and chicken wire. Clay is wrapped, and pushed into the armature and built up slowly. This stage requires a tremendous amount of precise planning. The armature is the underlying support system of the entire sculpture. A well planned and built armature is essential to a successful sculpture.

Step 5- Sculpting
Ms. Mongeon likes to use "wet" clay when she sculpts. She finds the medium very easy to work with and takes detail well. The sculpting process is very time consuming and labor intensive, and is usually the longest part of creating a bronze. Patience and a good eye for detail and volume are essential in creating a good likeness and a natural sculpture.

Step 6- The Finished Clay Sculpture and Final Approval
Once the clay sculpture was finished, Kipper's parents visited Ms. Mongeon' s studio for final approval. Ms. Mongeon looks forward to suggestions from her clients on the sculptures she creates. Suggestions often help bring out subtle nuances that make the final sculpture more personal.

Continue to the mold making process.

Armature and sculpture process

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