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© 2015 Thomas Wargin
The Process

Spontaneous creativity can happen at any point during the making of a sculpture, so I personally perform every task it takes to create my pieces, it allows me to explore the medium beyond the end result.

At the outset, sketches evolve into clay or carved three-dimensional forms. Using various molding techniques, resin models are created, which are then hand-packed into flasks with casting sand. It becomes an exhilarating experience when the molten metal burns new life into the molds. After cooling, parts are assembled for rough fit and positioning. Meticulously, I drill, tap and screw every component together. Disassembled one last time, each piece is taken through the phases of polishing or patination. Once the desired finish is achieved, all parts are final assembled. And behold, the anticipated sculpture is complete.

1. The process usually starts out with thumbnail sketches in one of my sketchbooks. 2. Next, I usually sculpt the pieces from clay or hand carve the parts from wood, polyester resin, or HDPF.
  3. Then, molds are made and rigid parts are cold cast (not shown). 4. Sometimes, designs change in the development process. I become sidetracked by new ideas and my own wheels start turning.
5. Match plates are made for the patterns. 5. (continued)
6. The patterns are covered with a parting powder (release agent). 7. The patterns are then sifted with mold sand.
8. After both mold halves are packed, the flasks are separated and gates and risers are cut into the sand. 9. The flasks are then set up for pouring and the furnace ignited. When the metal has reached the right temperature, the crucible is pulled from the furnace.
10. Parts are poured. 11. Parts are then left to cool before opening the flasks.
12. A few hours later, the parts are removed from their flasks. 13. Flash, sprues, gates and risers are removed.
14. Preassembly and fitment begins. 14. (continued)
15. Some pieces are welded. 15. (continued)
16. Some pieces are drilled... 17. ...and tapped.
18. Sculptures are preassembled to check for balance, visual dynamics, and composition before final finishing and assembly. 18. (continued)
19. Each component is polished, buffed, etched, sandblasted, or... 20. ...given a chemical patina before final assembly.
21. Girth before final assembly. 22. Girth after final assembly.