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Bronze Busts: Working Methods
Capturing both Spirit & Likeness

You are interested in a bust commission and wish to familiarize yourself with the procedure? The basic idea is "have tools, will travel..."

  1. A young boy face to face with his completed bust in clayDecision: You contact me by e-mail or telephone, we discuss your initial requirements and desired completion date, we agree on the price of the portrait and a timescale

    Note: Prices for a sculpture portrait vary: according to size (lifesize, or larger than lifesize), whether the portrait will consist of full head and neck only or full head, neck and shoulders, where the subject/sculpture are located geographically, whether the sculpture portrait is for a home (private residence) or for public display, and finally, whether the subject is alive (available to pose for his/her bust) or deceased.

    You may also want to commission
    a whole figure lifesize or monumental or mantel piece size rather than a bust.

  2. Formal commission: you confirm to me the commission in writing by e-mail or mail and you send an initial payment - usually one third of the total amount and a start date is agreed on. I will travel to any location around the world (and have already done so for bust commissions- from the USA to Malaysia and from Ireland to China).

  3. For a subject who is no longer living : I will need as many high-quality photos as possible. Either this is done by correspondance or we meet and I choose the photos which will best aid me in the process of creating the bust.
  4. For a live subject initial appointment : of approximately one hour... I take pictures and measuments, we discuss the angle and mood of the pose. 

  5. "Fleshing out" the portrait sculpture: then I get the bust advanced to about 70% or so in clay (this is not an exact science so percentages are a complete estimate!).

  6. The second appointment is an actual sitting to make adjustments and progress the sculpture portrait. Estimated time is a couple of hours minimally.

  7. The third appointment is again an actual sitting. Sometimes the work is finished at this point sometimes I will require a fourth or even a fifth sitting. This is largely played out until we (the "subject" and I) are both satisfied that we have the likeness and the mood and ultimately have arrived at the fine art piece you have commissioned me to create for you.  So whilst many such commissions require only 3 appointments, it may take 4 or 5 to finish the clay artwork.

  8. At that point I shall require a second payment before proceeding to make a mould. We will also discuss and agree how the piece is to be cast, patinated (coloured) and mounted.

  9. Bust at the wax stageMoulding & Casting the artwork: I will then get the portrait sculpture cast in the foundry, rework the piece at the wax stage (there is ALWAYS some finishing required as there is a limit to wet clay as a material and some details are best worked in the wax).

  10. Patination & Base: I or an assistant portrait sculptor will also supervise the patination process in the foundry and mount the sculpture portrait onto a base if appropriate.

  11. Delivery/Shipment: Finally, upon completion of the work in bronze, I shall either bring/ship the bronze bust to you or you can pick it up from my studio.

  12. Timescale: Estimated time from first sitting to finished portrait 4-8 weeks depending upon the subject's ability to schedule the 1st, 2nd and any subsequent sittings as close together as possible. Location is never a problem - I travel all over the world for sculpture portrait commissions.
Note that all bust commissions can be executed in bronze or terra cotta or other media to your requirements. See also info on commissioning lifesize or monumental whole figure sculptures.

Click here for info on commissioning lifesize or monumental  whole figure portrait sculpture

For UK and international enquiries, email us

Telephone Laury in the UK: +44 (0)7725 555048
or in France: +33 (0)6 18 43 51 25

Telephone agent Carla Schade in the US: +1 406-677-0642  

For the prospective private art collector, corporate art buyer, urban planner or public art coordinator we offer options to create lifesize figures or lifesize busts as originals only or as limited edition sculptures.

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