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Iron Copper and Brass


The restoration of many country farmhouses and old historical houses has led to a renewed attribution of value to things from the past, and wrought iron is making a come-back as a valued furnishing element: gates and fences, fittings, stairs, tables, plant holders, etc. Besides iron, another metal that was also important in the arts was bronze, together with the related technique of the fusion of metals. The search for perfect fusion started in Firenze in medieval times and carried on right through till the 1800s; the aim was to produce bronze sculptures, avoiding as much as possible any reworking by the artist when the metal was cold.

The highest degree of mastery in fusion was achieved by Clemente Papi in his foundry in the second half of the 1800s.
The techniques of artistic fusion have not changed to any great extent since Papi's times; despite technological developments, the fusion methods based on wax loss are still followed. The only difference compared to the past is represented by the introduction of new materials for forming the negative of the model, materials such as gelatine and silicon instead of chalk.

Translated by Jeremy Carden
Picture by Kee-Ho Casati

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