Process of metal statue making using lost wax method is one of the oldest & finest methods of statue crafting in Nepal. This method of statue making was pass on to them by their ancestor Shakya clan who have acquire this art during their frequent trade visit to Tibet in their ancient past.
All of these metal statues and sculptures in a showcase are created by the skillful artist using the process called Lost Wax Method.
The following is the step by step process of the “Lost Wax Casting” method. This process normally takes approximately 3 to 4 weeks to complete a single statue or sculpture. There is a lot of time and labor involved in each piece, each bronze is hand finished once in wax and then again in metal. It takes very skilled artists to complete this process.
The stages in this process, which are numerous, commence with the construction of a model of the desired object in wax. Basic shaping and contouring of wax is achieved by bending the cut portions of wax sheet over the heat.
Then, the craftsman is concerned with the formation of layers of protective clay, the refractory. The wax model is coated with the mixture (clay and rice bran) and placed to dry carefully in the sun until the clay is hardened. A second and third coat is then applied and likewise carefully dried in the sun.
The mould when completely dried is placed over a gentle charcoal fire on metal grids and gradually warmed until the wax has melted. Such moulds will then be accumulated until the day arrives for casting.
Then, on the day of casting, moulds are placed upright so that, the aperture for the metal is exposed to the top. Then, molten metal poured into the moulds. The moulds occupied by the metal are allowed to remain in position until it has returned to solid form. Once the metal has set, is thrust into a container of cold water. The clay is then removed and thus, the object, now in metal form, emerges, unique and exclusive items.
Then, the object goes forward for final polishing and finishing. As it is cleaned, polished and rubbed, it begins to show the fine luster and brilliance of the metal.
Then, the craftsmen with chisels and miniature hammers accentuate the details of hair, mouth, lips, expression and decoration that are required.
A last and overall rub with soft cloth brings the final luster to the items.
Then, the mercury process applies gold plating. Semi-precious and precious stones are fitted. Painting using suitable and appropriate colored lacquers and paints used to highlight particular feature.
The value of these creations cannot be exactly measured in hours or days as an item take intense labor and concentration of a statue artist.