MAHOBA, MADHYA PRADESH
Lost wax metal casting has a long history in India. Every bronze sculpture made is unique. Each one is created using the lost wax casting process for making metal statues in which a wax sculpture of an image is covered in clay, which is then baked. As the clay is heated, the wax melts away leaving a negative image of the sculpture inside the hardened clay. Molten metal is then poured into the mould. When the metal has cooled, the clay casing is broken away to leave the metal image. That’s the basic process but there are variations. One variation is that the clay is left to harden without being heated. The wax melts and runs out when molten metal is poured into the mould. Another variation involves a rough clay image being made, which is then covered with wax.
Our master craftsman, tells us that in his variation, he uses coloured stones to accentuate the pieces. It adds a depth to his pieces, he says. The technique is traditionally used to create a variety of sculptures for everyday and religious use, including mythical figures, animals, gods and goddesses as well as jewellery and household utensils.