‘It’s a thrill’

Amanda Jess
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Bronze sculpting with wax and hot metal

From the moment Carolyn Bedford laid eyes on the laborious and dangerous process of bronze sculpting using wax and hot metal, she was hooked.

 

A small crowd of two-dozen visited Art 2 Sea Saturday afternoon to watch Carolyn and George Bedford in one of the stages of the month-and-a-half production.

“We’re kind of excited because this is the first time in a while,” Carolyn said. The couple moved from Port Hawkesbury to Greenhill a year ago and hadn’t had the opportunity to sculpt before now.

It’s a temperamental process, requiring certain weather conditions as well as lots of time and money.

The complicated work starts from clay and ends as bronze with steps of hot wax and metal in between.

The step shown in Pictou involved the hot metal aspect.

As the work comes with a large risk factor of many steps going wrong, Carolyn was just excited to see if anything would turn out.

“In the end, if you do get something, it’s a thrill.”

After the metal had been poured and cooled, Carolyn chipped away at the casting and revealed a figure of a little man with a detailed face. The man was one of seven figures Carolyn is working on for her piece called “Terror.”

Carolyn has been bronzing sculptures for 10 years, but the way she is doing it has been used for 6,000 years.

She says it started in China, but ended up in Africa where they still do it today.

Her next venture will be bronzing with cold casting. It has fewer restrictions on when it can be done and allows for larger pieces to be made, but she says it takes the romance out.

While Carolyn is the artist, George plays an important part. She refers to him as the “foundry master” in their backyard foundry.

His responsibilities include building furnaces for the various steps, maintaining them and pouring the hot metal. While Carolyn would love to pour, her arthritis prevents it.

Carolyn has been an artist for over 50 years, with a main focus on painting.

 

Amanda.jess@ngnews.ca

On Twitter: @NGNewsAmanda

Geographic location: Port Hawkesbury, China, Africa

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