The next step was to make the wooden base for the piece. I happened to have a small piece of wenge that was 1 1/2" thick and I thought the dark color of the wood would be a great match for the color on the bronze base. I cut it into a circular form that was 3 inches in diameter and sanded it smooth. Then I cut and finished a 6 1/2 " x 6 1/2" square of maple to put under the wenge cylinder.
After a session with the bead blaster the bronze man with door and case were ready for the application of their patinas (see blog entry for 4/23/14). I decided that this piece would be most visually effective if I made the round base dark and kept the figure, door and case a natural bright bronze color. I brushed alternating layers of brown and black Birchwood Casey bronze patina on the base until I got the level of darkness that I wanted for the piece. (A variety of BC patinas are available online through Sculpt Nouveau.) After rinsing the circular base with water to stop the darkening of the patina, I coated the entire sculpture with clear satin spray lacquer.
After coating both pieces of wood with satin finish polyurethane I was ready to assemble all of the pieces. The trickiest part of this process was using a tap & die to create 2 threaded holes in the circular bronze base so that I could use threaded rods to attach the bronze to the wooden base. The bronze base is only 1/4" thick and I wanted avoid breaking through the top surface, so I positioned one hole under the back foot of the figure and another under the case to take advantage of the additional depth of bronze. Next I had to drill holes through the wood that exactly matched the positioning of the holes in the bronze. After epoxying one end of each rod in each hole in the bronze base, I threaded the rods through the corresponding holes in the wooden base. Finally I put the washers and nuts on the ends of the rods and tightened them to secure the pieces together. Another piece completed! And so - on to the next....
* For additional information on the creation of this piece see my blog entries for - 3/3/14, 3/15/14, & 4/10/14.
Cynthia Smith, Maine artist, originally from Connecticut. Taught art at secondary level for 35 years, retired in 2004. Sculpts in bronze, wood, stone, clay & plaster. Her work can be seen at several mid-coast Maine galleries and shows.