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Bronze - Artists favourite alloy

Bronze is the most favoured metal for cast metal sculpture or intricate objects. Strength and ductility are its main advantages when figures in action or slender complex detail are created. During the casting process, bronze alloys have the unusual and desirable property of expanding just before they set, consequently filling in the finest details of a mould as the alloy cools down. It shrinks slightly, making it easier to separate from the mould. Donatello's bronze statue of David cast in 1430 was the first ambitious free-standing full-length body bronze figure, famous for his first unsupported standing work. Throughout the history, bronze has been widely used and respected, in various crafts, for example, musical instruments, ornaments and decorative details in furniture, mirrors, before it became possible to produce glass with an acceptably flat surface. I find bronze exquisite for its opulence and warm colour that can be achieved while polishing it to a full mirror effect. It is appealing and striking as a piece of jewellery. The second factor which makes bronze to stand out is the patina (an alternative to polishing). Patina brings the aesthetic enjoyment of looking at the object or sculpture. It is a craft that requires skills, patience and understanding of the natural ageing of bronze. Its final result is exquisite. Some examples are presented in the pictures below. Whichever finish is being looked at (polished or artistic patina) bronze cannot be ever underestimated. It is always, with no exception, a symbol of luxury and statement for generations.

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