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  #1  
Old 12-25-2013, 02:19 AM
Art-Deco Art-Deco is offline
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Parks Bronze

I decided to drop Parks Bronze an email last night to see what they might charge to cast for me again.
Way back in 1992 I used to have my casts done there, but circumstances all around changed and I stopped doing the bronzes.

For some reason which I can't remember now, I had some casts done at Weston Studio-Foundry in New Mexico which I discovered is out of business and even their entire facility is completely gone to just a grassy field according to Google Street view.

Back in 1992 I had casts made when I sold them, they were basically made to order, since that was the case I never made any for myself. While cleaning things up in the basement shelves I looked over my polytek 74-40 urethane block molds for the models that were all made around 1991-1992 and they are all in excellent condition even after 21 years of storage, so I wanted to look into what it might cost now to cast some.

A client who purchased one of the bronzes back then, this one in fact:



He had it up for sale a few years ago on Ebay and I wound up winning it back for almost exactly what I had originally sold it for, the others in the series were all similar size and configuration about 6" tall to 7" and mounted on a marble base.
There was one slightly larger one which I had only cast one of, and he was heavy! I used to have them cast these completely solid and while they had reservations of casting the larger one solid they did and it turned out perfectly, it weighed 26# this was the model for it:







Parks used to charge $110 to cast these and then it went to $135, but that was 21 years ago and bronze was a lot cheaper than it is now too. I used to get the marble from Baja onyx cut to size and their prices were very reasonable.
Guess we'll see what they say the cost will be!

Back in '92 my method of casting the waxes was very untraditional but it was the only way I knew how to deal with all the undercuts caused by the figure standing on four legs and having fragile projections a rubber two piece mold I felt would not work well for. I made the models from plasticene and then made a multi-piece hydrocal plaster mold from that, and then made a set of polytek molds of each piece of the hydrocal.
It was those polytek molds from which I cast 50/50 plaster of Paris and sand waste molds from to pour the wax into.
The larger pieces usually pulled off easily enough and could be reused, the smaller pieces trapped under the body were just disolved and crumbled to remove.
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Old 12-25-2013, 02:48 AM
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mantrid mantrid is offline
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Re: Parks Bronze

Im surprised that a commercial foundry would cast such small pieces individually for you.

To make a mould of this I would separate the dog from the base and do a three piece mould of the dog and a open mould for the base. then cast two separate waxes and join together
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Old 12-25-2013, 05:54 PM
Art-Deco Art-Deco is offline
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Re: Parks Bronze

I don't know, I assumed all foundries cast whatever the client needs cast provided it's within the capability of the foundry and their equipment.
They did suggest a place who makes centrifugal casts for jewelry for some medallions I also made back then, but only because their ceramic shell method would have been more expensive to cast them that way.
As they say "money talks" and few these days anyway can afford to turn down ANY work, that could be one reason why Weston-studio went out of business years ago, and Parks is still in business.

There's probably not a lot of calls these days for lifesize to 25 foot tall bronze civic monuments and maybe Weston turned away a lot of smaller jobs hoping to work on monumental stuff, but those kinds of projects don't pop up every week!

in my case I had told Parks I was not in a rush to get the cast immediately and they could cast the dog when they had some other casting going on, I supplied the finished wax and did the patina and mounting myself.
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Old 12-26-2013, 03:12 AM
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mantrid mantrid is offline
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Re: Parks Bronze

yes casting it as an addition to a larger job would be the only way.

Firing up a relatively large furnace for a small single piece would lose them money, so they wouldn't necessarily take any work unless you could cover all the costs of doing so, fuel, raw materials consumables, electricity, wages of employees etc

let us know what they want to do it, it would be interesting to know
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Old 12-26-2013, 11:09 PM
Art-Deco Art-Deco is offline
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Re: Parks Bronze

Quote:
Originally Posted by mantrid View Post
yes casting it as an addition to a larger job would be the only way.

Firing up a relatively large furnace for a small single piece would lose them money, so they wouldn't necessarily take any work unless you could cover all the costs of doing so, fuel, raw materials consumables, electricity, wages of employees etc

let us know what they want to do it, it would be interesting to know
Sure, that's why I always let both foundries know in advance I wasn't in a hurry and could wait on the casting when they had a melt going on, would be ridiculous to fire up a furnace just to cast one $110 item even back then!

I'll post what I find out, I have a hunch they are closed thru the holidays and probably won't be back in the shop till the day after New Years to even read my email.
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Old 04-23-2014, 01:20 PM
Art-Deco Art-Deco is offline
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Re: Parks Bronze

For an update on this:

I never heard back from Parks despite emailing them twice, not even a FK-off peasant! were not interested!

I also didn't even get a response from another foundry, but did from a third one, this one is in California which quoted over $500 for the little 6" high casting ( I figured with inflation from the $110-$125 I paid in 1992 to do this the casting might be around $300-$350 today, ) but now it's over $500 and that's for an artist supplied wax, patina ready only.
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Old 04-23-2014, 07:23 PM
raspero raspero is offline
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Re: Parks Bronze

There are art foundries in other states. California has problems people who have never lived there can't even imagine. There are so many regulations, permits, inspections, insurance requirements, emission checks, etc. that businesses by the thousands are fleeing the state every year. I know I did.

Richard
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Old 04-24-2014, 01:19 PM
Art-Deco Art-Deco is offline
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Re: Parks Bronze

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Originally Posted by raspero View Post
There are art foundries in other states. California has problems people who have never lived there can't even imagine. There are so many regulations, permits, inspections, insurance requirements, emission checks, etc. that businesses by the thousands are fleeing the state every year. I know I did.

Richard

I know, it's insane, I sent inquiries to a Colorado and a NY foundry last night, we'll see.
$509 for this is pretty steep, especially when you add in my time and materials for making the wax, shipping it to them, shipping the bronze back to me, buying the marble base and engraved plate, doing the patina, monting it that $509 quickly comes closer to $750 and if you figure "two times foundry costs" for a retail price if I were to offer them for sale, they would have to be close to $1400.
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