FAQ Archives | Estate Fountains

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Outdoor fountains are perfect for  circular driveways, courtyards, entry ways, gardens and patios because the sound of water trickling down them can provide a wonderful sense of tranquility. 

Depending on their exact setting, there is an appropriate fountain material that you could implement into your cherished space. 

A fountain is something that you will treasure for years to come, so it is important to use the proper material to extend its life span as long as possible. 

While the array of fountain materials can be intimidating, we have created a guide that will allow you to choose the material that suits your fountain style best.  


Glass fountains are gorgeous. They appear more like a work of art than a fountain. However, they are typically  not practical for an outdoor setting because they break easily. Acrylic fountains could provide a similar artistic look and a little more durability, but tend to turn a yellowish shade and get brittle over time –  the longer it’s left out in the sun year after year.  Molded Resin fountains also tend to also get brittle over time, as well as are quite light, so they can blow away in a stiff wind.


When you hear ceramic fountain, think of a large terra cotta pot. These are great because they are relatively small compared to most fountains, and make great patio and deck fountains.   Also, they can yield a handmade feel and a sense of tranquility to that smaller space. You can purchase a ceramic fountain or even buy a large piece of pottery and turn it into a fountain yourself for a fun DIY project.  If you live in a location that has periodic freezes over the Winter though, make sure you buy a pot small enough to bring it inside for the Winter Season.  If you do not do that, after a few short years your ceramic fountain will crack / fall apart, and you’ll have to make a new one.

Cast Stone / Concrete

Cast Stone fountains can be molded into virtually any design, and sometimes can have the appearance of real stone when they are first installed (before the patina coat of color on the surface is worn off  or faded.)  Cast stone fountains are quite heavy, and weigh almost as much as a real stone fountain.  Also, cast stone fountains have particular cleaning needs, right up there with the most delicate and porous of natural stones.   And, along with those delicate natural stones, the porous nature of cast or concrete fountains make them imminently unsuitable to be used in a climate that has freeze / thaw seasons throughout the year.  If you have your heart set on getting a cast stone or concrete fountain, and live in a climate that freezes periodically….   Keep in mind that the whole fountain MUST covered with a tarp or cover every single Fall (before the Winter freezing temperatures arrive) or your fountain will only last a very few years.  (Also, porous fountains need to be shut off and drained several weeks before granite fountains would need to, just to give the porous stone a chance to dry out – even below the surface of the stone.)  Otherwise, if you cover a fountain that is actually still wet, you haven’t really protected it from the water freezing inside the stone – and the inevitable damage starting as that same water freezes and starts cracking the stone. (The bad news is, you can’t stop the moisture from coming up UNDERNEATH the fountain…)

Limestone or Marble

Did you know that limestone was used by the Greeks over 4,500 years ago to create statues? It was also used by the Egyptians to build the Great Pyramids. This is because limestone was easily accessible and very quick to carve, as it’s a softer stone.  It tends to be a more of a solid color stone, with not a lot of varied colors on each specific block.

Marble fountains tend to have a variety of colors in them, with veins of contrasting color, or sometimes several contrasting colors.  They are absolutely gorgeous and they can turn any garden into an outdoor oasis. In fact, they appear more like a work of art than a fountain.  

Of course, both Limestone and Marble are more delicate, softer, more porous stones, so that means they need to be maintained with only specific cleaning products – that won’t actually eat away the stone itself while you are cleaning it.  Also, they would be more susceptible to damage by hoodlums, as if they really wanted to carve into the stone with something hard, it would be relatively easy to carve their initials into the stone.

And lastly, because of that porous nature, these kinds of fountains will NOT stand up to a freeze/thaw climate indefinitely (the way granite would), even if you cover them each Fall for the whole winter.  So, depending on the diameter / height of your fountain, that can make a very unsightly shape in front of your house for 4-6 months of the year during the winter season/holidays.

Travertine or Cantera

These types of stones tend to be unsuccessful as fountains.  They are very porous and easy to carve, which tends to mean they are more economical than other types.  But both of these kinds of stones tend to have large voids or air pockets in them, which over time can easily create places for the fountain to leak, once the stones break down from chemical attack.   And in the instance of Cantera in particular, just from the chemicals you put in the water to keep algae out of the fountain can eat quite a bit of the stone away (in as short as 5-8 years.)  And yet again, due to the porous nature of these stones, this kind of fountain would not  stand up to a freeze/thaw climate for any more than likely a year or 2, if it’s uncovered during the winter and you get a lot of freeze/thaws that occur during that season. (For example, in some areas, you can get warmer temps during the day – then freeze again at night – so you may have as many as 50-60 times that it freezes and thaws that season….  )  And even if it is covered, they aren’t likely to last more than probably 5-8 years, as over time tarps or covers tend to get holes or sweat on the underside – and those droplets of moisture start the damage process as it infiltrates the stone and freezes over winter.)


The longevity of granite makes this type of fountain material ideal because it is a highly durable stone and it can be hand carved into virtually any design. Granite comes in many different colors, so you can choose a fountain that perfectly highlights your outdoor getaway. These fountains are not only quite elegant and make for a perfect centerpiece for your estate, but are also the easiest option you could ever imagine in terms of maintenance.  Unlike the other softer stones mentioned above, granite is pretty much immune to chemical attack not only from cleaning products, but also the substances you put in the water to keep it clean.  So, you can very quickly and easily remove iron stains or calcium scale with various acid solutions, and they won’t affect your stone at all.  You just need to make sure you wear skin and eye protection while applying it on a non-windy day, then rinse liberally with water.  Check this blog to learn more of the particulars on maintaining fountains.  Your fountain pump and lights on the other hand (being made of metal and plastic) are NOT immune to chemical attack though, so make sure you keep that in mind when putting lots of chemicals in your pool.


Are you looking for more rustic fountain option, to go in a more informal type area? Basalt fountains convey a lovely sense of tranquility and serenity. The way water accentuates a basalt fountain can make the stone come alive and really stand out in its atmosphere.   Typically basalt fountains are installed in a disappearing water feature, which means (since there is no pool of water to accidentally fill with leaves in Fall)  this kind of fountain is very well suited to a very wooded area, since the water reserve is actually contained in a pondless basin  in the ground under the fountain.


Bronze can create a very elegant fountain and its shine provides a classical appearance to any setting. This is a great option if you want to use the soft colors in the bronze to complement the color scheme in your garden.  Although, keeping the original colors (for example) on a brown/gold colored bronze fountain is quite labor intensive each year, as the elements tend to always be working on the metal to create a more typical silvery grey / greenish patina.  This means every year you’d need to scrub that coloration off the fountain, if you want the original brown / gold colors to remain.  Best of all worlds would be if you’d put a 2 coat clear coat on the bronze before you even start the fountain up for the first time – as that will help keep your cleaning down to a minimum.    Check out Sculpt Nouveau’s Website, who can explain the various methods to protect your valuable investment.   Or, if you like the silvery/greenish color patina on the fountain, just let the process continue until the whole fountain is that same color.  (Once that occurs, that means the metal underneath it is now protected – and you can enjoy the fountain for a very long time – with hardly any maintenance at all.)

Bronze is also a great material for your fountain because it allows for  smaller details to be incorporated into the design. Your guests will be amazed when they see this work of art in your garden. 

What Fountain Material Will You Choose?

Before purchasing your fountain, it is important to evaluate the setting that your fountain will reside. Is it outside in the middle of a circle drive, where it is susceptible to harsh weather?  Opt for a durable fountain material such as granite or bronze.  Or, if you want a fountain that will be the most easy care in terms of maintenance, a granite fountain will never disappoint you – and it’ll still be around for generations to come!

However, if you reside in a warmer climate (growing season zone 9 or higher) or want to place the fountain inside your home, you could really use any type of fountain you like, and you will have a beautiful piece of art for all of your visitors to admire.  (Then you just have to review the different types, and see if the cleaning / chemical restrictions will work with your planned maintenance of the fountain. 

Here at Carved Stone, we have fountain materials to fit everyone’s need. Take a look at our wide fountain selection to start your journey to find the perfect fountain for you.

The Benefits of a Granite Fountain in Cold Environment

February 23, 2018

Why is a Granite Fountain such a Great Choice?

Few things can add as much beauty and natural appeal as a granite fountain in your yard, no matter where you happen to live in this country. Whether you’ve been in a hot climate like Arizona your whole life, or one of the cooler climates of the Northeast, the charm of today’s contemporary outdoor water fountains can bring a touch of magic to any setting, warm or cold. Estates, in particular, have the kind of spaciousness that can make large garden fountains the centerpiece for an entire section on the premises.

In such settings, all eyes are instantly riveted to the charming, mesmerizing spectacle of earth’s most abundant natural resource flowing in a seemingly limitless issue of fresh water, splashing over the exquisite curves of a custom water fountain. If you’ve been of the opinion that this kind of picturesque scene might only be possible in a warm-weather setting, that simply isn’t so. In fact, there are several very significant benefits provided by granite fountains in the colder regions of this country, and in this article, we’ll explore a few of those benefits, so you can understand why a granite fountain would be as appropriate in Vermont as it might be in Nevada.

Granite is Extremely Durable

This may not exactly be a revelation since probably most people are well aware that granite is a very hard stone, and can only be cracked with great difficulty. This is a critical factor to any area in the country which is routinely exposed to seasonal cycles of freezing and thawing. Under these conditions, many kinds of stone will crack, and if you’ve ever driven over roads in the Northeast, you’ll have seen first-hand the kind of damage that can be done to hard road surfaces by these same cycles of freezing and thawing. Granite on the other hand, even if left completely natural, will last for centuries, as long as you avoid letting water freeze inside your fountain, which would eventually cause it to break apart.

It’s a fairly common practice for owners to clean their granite fountains with a solution of either muriatic acid/water or ferrous acid/water, which are effective at cleaning away calcium scale and iron stains. Many stone structures will not hold up well under this kind of cleaning, but granite resists it very well, just as it does most chemicals. It is highly resistant to a whole variety of different chemicals, just as it is to extremes of temperature and strong winds. It is one of the very most durable kinds of stone found on earth, and that makes it a great choice for your custom water fountain, no matter which state you live in.

The Natural Beauty of Granite

The word ‘granite’ comes from a Latin word which means ‘grain’, and the interlocking crystalline textures which are evident in each piece of this stone were formed as molten rock cooled down and solidified. Every custom water fountain made of granite is hand-carved by an artisan who has spent years at his/her craft and has the knowledge and skill to persuade the very best out of an original block of stone. There is an endless variety of patterns and features which are inside every block of granite, just waiting for the master craftsman to expose them to the world, where they can be seen and appreciated by everyone.

This special quality means that every single granite fountain is a unique expression of the artist’s hand, with no two pieces ever being alike. That same principle extends to the coloring of any granite fountain you have custom-made for your estate or home setting. There are a number of different shades of granite, each of which depends on the quantity of feldspar which is present in the block you’re working with. Some feldspars are a kind of milky white shade, while others can lend to the granite a coloring of emerald green, brick red, pink, gray, or even pale yellow. Nature’s artistry has provided a wonderful color palette for the estate owner or homeowner to choose from, in having a custom granite fountain prepared.

Low Moisture Absorption Rate

For a water fountain, absorption would not be a desirable quality to have, since that could quickly lead to cracking, and eventually to a slow disintegration. This scenario would be exacerbated and hastened in a cold climate where freezing and thawing are a part of seasonal life. This is another characteristic which granite has that is head and shoulders above the competition – having a very low absorption rate, which allows it to remain highly resistant to the effects of running water.

Granite is one of the least porous stones in existence because its grains are so tightly interwoven that there is almost no opportunity for water (or any other material) to penetrate that solid face. Since granite is a crystalline rock that has less than 1% porosity, it simply allows for almost zero absorption of water which might otherwise cause it harm. Some stones like sandstone or Cantera are far more porous and have a porosity that can be anywhere between 10% and 22%, which would make it a completely undesirable building material for an outdoor fountain.

A Few More Advantages

If you have your custom granite fountain sealed with a quality sealant, you can expect it to last indefinitely, since its own natural close-grained texture will combine with the sealant to repel all moisture, and provide long-lasting beauty and functionality wherever you have it installed. Granite is also virtually impervious to any kind of scratches or cuts, so if you happen to be gardening in the area of your fountain, there’s no danger of you causing damage to it.

And there’s one more thing to keep in mind about this cold weather champion – when the seasons change, and things start to heat up again outdoors, granite is also immune to the effects of high temperatures, even if they get extremely hot. In fact, once you have your dream vision of a custom granite fountain converted into reality, you can almost forget about maintaining it – just sit or stand somewhere nearby, and enjoy the sublime expression of its natural beauty.

What To Expect During The Custom Stone Fountain Design Process

January 8, 2017

Custom stone fountain design is our speciality. The design options are virtually endless. If you can imagine it, we can probably create it! 

The photos in this blog are from a project we worked on from start to finish for Pinelawn Memorial Park on Long Island. The process outlined is typical for most custom fountain projects. 

1. The process typically starts with the customer sharing a photo of a fountain they would like replaced or replicated. You can find your inspiration in our idea galleries or from photos of classical fountains from around the world.

The photos below are of a deteriorating concrete fountain. Pinelawn Memorial Park asked us to replicate this fountain in durable granite. Granite is the best option for outdoor fountains, especially in climates with a freeze/thaw cycle, but we can create fountains from a variety of stones. The before picture shows the concrete fountains wear and crumbling details. 

2. After taking measurements, we put together a rough sketch of the new fountain and provide initial cost estimates. 

3. To help us determine the appropriate scale for the fountain design, we request that customers send us a recent photo of the proposed fountain site. By giving us a known height or distance of an object in the photo and using a little Photoshop magic, we are able to place the proposed fountain design in the photo. At this stage, it is easier to determine if the custom stone fountain will be too large or too small for the area and scale it appropriately. 

This is also the time where we play with stone color tones in the rendering to give a better representation of how different colors will look in relation to the home or other landscape elements. We can even show the customer physical stone samples to aid in color selection. 

4. Once the design, size and stone color is finalized, the bid is reviewed for any significant changes from the original scope of work. Then we write up a formal sales order. If time or budget are an issue, we may suggest one of our in-stock fountain creations as an alternative. 

5. When the order is confirmed and down payment received, we begin our CAD process to model the fountain from the ground up. We use 3-D engineering software to create a 3-D rendering of the fountain design. We submit the design for review before continuing.

For many fountain design companies, this is where their design process ends. For us, the 3-D rendering is just the beginning. After the overall design is approved, we break it down even further into individual parts. We create drawings for each piece to ensure the carving features are exactly where you want them and all functionality, including plumbing and drains, is in the proper spots.

Some stone fountains can weigh several thousand pounds. As a result, we’ve developed a unique lifting system designed right into each of the larger parts to make lifting the heavy fountain with the appropriate equipment easier. 

6. Depending on the client and contractor’s involvement in the design process, we submit all detailed part drawings or just the main assembly drawing with dimensions for approval. 

7. The approved drawings are then passed off to our skilled artisans who secure quarried blocks of stone, cut them to size, carve and hand finish the fountain’s details.

8. While carving is in progress, we follow up with additional drawings for the fountain’s plumbing, lighting and concrete slab layouts. Following this set of plans ensures the custom fountain will function as intended when it is installed.

9. We can also add additional fountain accessories to the design, including remote pump vaults, autofill systems, water treatment systems, nozzles, spray rings and lighting assemblies.

10. After the fountain is complete, final payment is due. Then, we arrange to have all of the fountain pieces delivered to the fountain site and install it.

After installation is complete, a granite fountain can be enjoyed for generations to come! If you are interested in learning more about our custom design process, please contact us



Natural Stone Facts

October 29, 2014

Natural stone is an ideal choice for many fine home finishes.  There are several types of natural stone out there; each gives a different look and has different properties. This article highlights a few of the most popular natural stone types and facts about each type.


Granite is one of the most popular natural stone types. Many people choose this stone because it is very durable. Granite is one of the hardest, densest natural stones making it the best choice for outdoor fountains in freezing climates.  It is also very resistant to scratches and staining and can withstand high heats; making this stone ideal for use in the kitchen. Granite also comes in many different colors, from light to dark, with unique variations in each variety. Check out some beautiful granite samples below.

Gaillo Fantaisa Y Granite – Its warm golden/tan earth tones work well in many landscaping applications.

Golden Cypress Granite – Closely resembles the fine-grained texture and color tones of a buff limestone but with the durable characteristics of granite.

Louise Blue Granite – Considered a premium exotic stone, showcases the wild variation in colors and texture available to those seeking something truly unique.


Marble is a crystallized limestone. This beautiful stone has been popular in homes for centuries because of its elegance. Unlike granite, marble is softer and more porous. This allows for a greater level of detail in the carving.  It tends to stain and scratch easier than other natural stone types, so it is best used in an area in your home with less traffic. Some of the most popular places to use marble are for statuary or columns, or in guest bathrooms and fireplace surrounds. Like granite, marble comes in a variety of colors, each with distinct veining. Below are some marble examples.

Crema Marfil Marble Fireplace


Cumulus White Marble Contoured Oval Bath Tub



In its natural state, travertine is a porous stone with holes running through it.  On floor tiles and countertops, holes are often filled and the stone is honed to the state you see in homes. Like marble, travertine is soft, so some preventative maintenance is needed for this type of stone to keep it looking nice. Travertine works great for many uses in the home as long as it is properly maintained. Below are some popular travertine colors.

Scabos Travertine flooring in a Versailles pattern

Travertine Fireplace with polished marble inlays


Limestone is a unique natural stone. It is a sedimentary stone formed from the accumulation of organic materials like shells and coral at the bottoms of ancient sea floors.  Like marble, this stone is very porous and will require some preventative maintenance. Also like marble, this stone is susceptible to staining and scratching, so it is not suitable for all areas of the home.  Check out a beautiful limestone sample below.

Limestone Kitchen Hood

Limestone Stair Treads and Curved Balustrade

These are just a few of the different types of natural stone available. For more stone samples, click here

Interested in learning more about using natural stone in your home? Contact us

Let’s Get Social: Connect With Us

July 10, 2014

Social media is one of the many ways to stay in touch with us.  By following us on our social media sites,  you can be the first to know of trends, new designs, and industry news. Keep reading to find out about all of the social media platforms you can find us on!


If you are the visual type, check out our Pinterest account. We have various boards filled with design inspiration for every room of the house on our Pinterest page. Check out our Pinterest boards here.


If you are looking for design ideas, our Houzz account is the place for you. We have many different idea books, projects, and posts about everything stone. Follow our Houzz account here.


Our Facebook page is where you can find polls, links to articles, and pictures of beautiful stone pieces. Like our Facebook page here.


Twitter is where we post up to the minute updates and news; as well as, links to interesting articles and pictures. If you want to be in the loop, follow our Twitter page here.

Google +

Our Google+ is where we post unique pictures of fountains and other stone pieces. If you have a Google+, add us to one of your circles here.


Follow us on LinkedIn for interesting articles and news about stone. Follow our LinkedIn here.

Go ahead, keep in touch with us by following our social media accounts. We will be happy to have you!

The Advantages of Natural Stone Vs. Cast Stone

March 6, 2012

While advances have been made in cast stone and other faux stone alternatives, there is still simply no comparison to the durability, beauty, longevity, and value of natural stone. A natural stone fountain, statue, planter, etc. will last much longer then a cast stone counterpart that will eventually chip, crack, and crumble due to exposure to natural elements, especially in cold weather climates where freezing and thawing cycles allow water to seep into the porous surface of concrete and expand to create damage.

Carved Stone Creations uses granite for most of the outdoor fountains, statues, window and door surrounds, trim, and cladding we provide because it is virtually non-porous, is resistant to fading, and requires little maintenance. Regardless of whether you call it patina or weathering, the aging and damage caused to cast stone by the elements is still deterioration! (The following photos are of a concrete fountain that only lasted less than 3 years in a Michigan installation.)

While many cast stone companies claim that their product meets ASTM standards for withstanding freeze/thaw cycles, what they don’t tell you is that these tests represent a really small cycle time in comparison to what most fountains or other outdoor stone elements would face in a single winter. ASTM standards call for withstanding a 100 cycle freeze/thaw test.

Think about how many times that fountain could freeze and thaw in a single day if temperatures peak over freezing during the day and drop into the teens or below zero temperatures at night! It should also be noted that certain natural stones are also susceptible to damage from freezing in cold weather climates but they pose no concerns in warm weather climates.

Limestone is porous enough to absorb moisture and potentially cause damage due to freezing and thawing. Travertine has naturally occurring air pockets within the stone which could create structural issues if water were to collect in these recesses and freeze. Certain types of marble also have a potential for damage if they contain a large number of veins. For this reason Carved Stone Creations works mostly with Granite for outdoor stone applications where cold weather may be a concern. 

Modern techniques for faux stone casting have created more believable textures and colors through the use of ground stone mixtures and pigments but there is no substitute for the beauty of the natural color, mineral deposits, veining, crystalline facets, and texture that natural stone provides. Hundreds of years of water, heat, and pressure combined give natural stone a unique composition and aesthetic that pigments can’t duplicate. Stones like limestone and sandstone which have uniform texture and color may be easy to simulate, but stones such as marbles, travertines, and onyx are difficult to replicate in a convincing manner.

It is also difficult to match the color of the faux finishing in the event that the cast concrete is damaged or needs to be cut down during installation for fitment. In addition to the durability concerns, casting does not yield the same level of detail that carved natural stone has. There’s only so much detail and complexity to what you can capture with a mold and the end product is only as good as the mold you make it from.

Our artisan sculptors are capable of capturing amazing detail in our sculptures due to the hardness and density of natural stone, especially in marble. Our sculptors can carve life-like hair or fur, clothing, facial features, and muscle tone from natural stone.

Cracks and chips in the cast stone surround as well.

Make the investment in natural stone and rest easy knowing that it will last a lifetime. Although cast stone may be a less costly alternative the disadvantages of its lesser durability and longevity can leave you disappointed. Don’t set yourself up for the frustration of having costly demolition and replacement down the road. Need some proof that Granite is a superior choice? We are so confident that our Granite outdoor fountains are capable of standing up to cold weather that we run our fountains into the freezing winter!

Subjecting a cast concrete fountain to this kind of constant freezing and thawing cycle would almost guarantee to cause it damage in only a winter’s time.

Our Granite fountains held up to this test just fine. Looking for a stone fountain or other custom exterior stonework for your home? Contact us today to see what we can do for you Carved Stone Creations is located in Kaukauna, WI and we are a reasonable drive away from many Midwest metro areas including Milwaukee, Madison, Chicago, Indianapolis, Fort Wayne, Minneapolis, St. Paul, Grand Rapids, Ann Arbor, Traverse City, Davenport, Des Moines, St. Louis, Kansas City, Cincinnati, Columbus, etc. Visit our showroom to see first hand what we can design for you.

Our convenient centralized location also means we can bring all of the tools and heavy equipment we need to tackle any installation job. We understand the affect our harsh Midwest winters can have on exterior stone work and we design and install architectural stonework like fountains, statues, exterior stone veneer, etc with those factors in mind. We’ll make sure the stone work we install for you stands up to the weather and the test of time! Outside of the Midwest? We can install there too. We have done work from New York to Florida to California as well.

Lost Wax Casting Of Bronze

February 6, 2009

Carved Stone Creations works with expert bronze foundries who are skilled in making bronze statues through the process of Lost Wax Casting. Lost wax casting is the process by which bronze is cast from an artists sculpture. This is the most precise metal casting technique in existence, ensuring accurate reproductions of the original sculpture and exquisite detail. Developed over 4,000 years ago, this ancient practice varies from foundry to foundry, but the steps which are usually used in casting bronze sculptures in modern bronze factories are generally standardized.

  1. Sculpting An artist creates an original artwork from wax, clay, or another material.
  2. Mold making A mold is made of the original sculpture. Most molds of small sculptures are made from plaster. To preserve the fine details on the original artwork’s surface, there is usually an inner mold made of latex, vinyl, or silicone. Usually, the original artwork is destroyed during the making and initial deconstruction of the plaster mold.
  3. Wax Once the plaster-and-latex molds are finished, the first layer of wax is applied by painting into the rubber mold to capture fine detail. Then more molten wax is poured into it, enough to cover the inner surface of the mold.
  4. Removal of Wax The hollow wax copy of the artwork is removed from the mold. The artist may reuse the mold to make more wax copies, but wear and tear on the mold limits the number of copies possible.
  5. Chasing A heated metal tool is used to rub out the marks that show the “parting lines”, where the pieced of the mold came together. The wax now looks like the finished bronze, exactly like the original work. Wax pieces that were molded separately can be heated and attached.
  6. Spruing The wax copy is “sprued” with a tree-like structure of wax that will eventually provide paths for molten bronze to flow and air to escape. When the wax is “lost”, these gates will become the avenues for the molten metal to flow into the piece. The vents allow the gas to escape when the molten bronze is poured and will prevent air pockets from forming. The carefully planned spruing usually begins at the top with a wax cup, which is attached by wax cylinders to various points on the wax copy.
  7. Slurry A “sprued” wax copy is dipped into a slurry of liquid silica, then into sand-like “stucco”. The slurry and grit combination is called a “ceramic shell” mold material. The shell is allowed to dry.
  8. Burnout The ceramic shell-coated piece is placed in a kiln where heat hardens the silica coating into a shell, and the wax melts and runs out (“lost wax”). Now all that remains of the original artwork is the negative space.
  9. Testing The ceramic shell is allowed to cool, then is tested to see if it will hold water. Cracks and leaks can be repaired at this time.
  10. Pouring The shell is reheated in the kiln to harden the patches, and then placed into a tub filled with sand. Bronze is melted then poured carefully into the shell. If the shell were not hot, the temperature difference would shatter the mold. The bronze-filled molds are now allowed to cool.
  11. Release The shell is hammered or sandblasted away, releasing the rough bronze. The spruing that were recreated in metal are cut off to be re-melted and used in another casting.
  12. Metal Chasing For large pieces, reassembly will take place in the welding area by carefully realigning and refitting the pieces. The bronze copies are chased until all the signs of casting are removed, and again the sculpture looks like the original artwork.
  13. Patinazation The bronze is colored using chemicals applied to heated or cooled metal. This coloring is called patina, and is often green, black, white, or a brownish color to simulate the surfaces of ancient bronze sculptures. A patina finish can also replicate marble or stone. Depending on whether the metal is sandblasted or polished the finish can be opaque or transparent. After the desired patina has been achieved, a coating of wax is applied to the surface while it is hot in order to ensure durability of color and finish. This serves to protect the surface from oxidation and also gives the finished bronze its luster.

Contact us or call us at 1-866-759-1920 if you would like more information or a price quote on any custom bronze piece for private gardens to large public memorials.