The Process of Making a Dog, Animal or Human Bust

Preliminary Stage

The making process of any portrait bust is initiated by my visit to meet the subject to see and get to know the individual/animal. If this is not possible because the individual or animal has passed on then I can work from existing photographs. I will need to take a wide range of photos alongside discussions about the subject: their characteristics, mannerisms and personality. Measurements will also be useful  and a discussion about a pose, scale and what material would be required for the outcome. Outcomes can be made in either Foundry Bronze, Resin or Ceramic.(Please see below for more information about materials and costs).

1st payment : Deposit of 10% of total cost on commission


Secondary Stage

I  then make an armature (the frame on which the clay or wax is built) and begin to create the sculpture. Photos recording the development of the sculpture will be sent regularly to you to show progress. I might suggest a second sitting with the client to gather further information (eg. more photos). Once the sculpture is agreed and you are happy with the sculpture it will be delivered to the Foundry (to be either cast into Bronze Resin or solid Bronze) or can be fired in a kiln if the outcome is purely a ceramic piece which can be glazed.

2nd payment :  40% of total cost


If the outcome is to be cast into bronze or resin it is taken to a Foundry to go through a series of casting processes. 

The casting process can take approximately 2-4  months, depending on the scale of the sculpture and material used to cast the sculpture.

Steps in the process of making a Dog Bust

Materials - Bronze Resin

This is a “cold cast material” which consists of real bronze powder mixed with polyester resins. The casting process involves making a reusable silicon rubber mould of the sculpture. The bronze powder mixture is poured into the mould and is reinforced with fiberglass and resin. The finishing process involves polishing the surface to bring out the sheen of the bronze. The finished outcome looks very similar to foundry bronze. There is a variety of finishing options using stains, pigments and other metal powders including aluminium if a different finish is required.

Bronze resin is lighter than solid bronze and weather proof if kept outdoors - depending on the shape of the sculpture some cracking may occur over a period of time especially if water sits in one area and the water freezes.

If the sculpture is to be kept indoors it can last indefinitely, but it is not unbreakable however it is easily fixed if damaged. Bronze Resin is a realistic substitute to foundry bronze and more affordable.


Close up Detail of Bronze Resin Surface

Foundry Bronze

Foundry bronze is extremely durable and strong and is considered an investment. It is a wonderful material suitable for both interior and exterior sculptures 

The casting process begins with making a silicon mould of the sculpture, a wax cast is taken from the mould and checked over at this stage by the artist. A series of further labour intensive casting processes follow including the “lost wax “ casting technique. This is an ancient casting process which goes back to the Greek technique of making Bronze sculptures.

Patination is the final stage in the production of a bronze, when the sculpture is painted and heated at the same time – to achieve the clients choice of colour.

When the sculpture has been cast into either Bronze Resin or Foundry Bronze I will deliver the sculpture to you.

3rd payment: the final payment of 50% is payable in full  on delivery of the sculpture