Bronze Bust From Photos as a Tribute to a Brother

A Bronze Bust From Photos as a Tribute to a Brother

 This life-sized bronze style bust from photos was hand sculpted in clay and cast in a lightweight resin “cold cast” process that has the look and feel of bronze without the weight and cost of the a heavy metal bust.

Sculpted at full size, this piece began as a clay creation by sculptor Ron Tiller. Ron studied photos provided by the subject’s brother, who commissioned this piece of sculpture as a tribute to his brother, who’s no longer with us. We often work from photos, and our process involves sending updates to the client for feedback from those who knew the subject best. After just a few rounds of updates and some refining, Ron managed to capture the look and spirit of our subject in clay, and then moved to the molding and casting process.

For many of our busts, we use a resin material with a painted faux bronze finish, or we use heavy, real metal bronze via a metal foundry that we partner with. For this bust, we used what’s called “cold cast bronze” to give a really wonderful finish. After molding in silicone, a special real-bronze material is brushed into the mold and backed with a resin material (similar to fiberglass) is poured into the mold. Once the casting is made, it’s polished and aged. The cold-cast piece looks and feels like real metal, because the surface IS metal. It’s cool to the touch and a wonderful way to create a tribute bust.

Our client was so pleased that he wrote:

“It looks phenomenal.  My dad stopped by, and he was very moved. I have it situated in the den, on a console table I bought for it.  I recently assembled a family snapshots mosaic in Photoshop and had it printed 27″ x 41″ and framed, as a backdrop of memories. Keith and I loved Eastman’s Aaron books when we were kids, so I have a vintage set displayed beside him now, according to season… 

I enjoy living with these reminders of childhood and all the fun Keith and I had growing up in the ’70s and ’80s.  The bust is the ultimate addition to this sort of personal museum.

Thanks again for doing such a great job on the project. I’m back at the office now and eager to return home this evening.  I’ll be toasting my brother with an Old Fashioned.  Keep up the good work.


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