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Subject: Workshop on bronze

Workshop on bronze

From: Francesca Bewer <fbewer>
Date: Tuesday, July 25, 2000
Practical Workshop on Renaissance Bronze Casting and the Technical
Investigation of Bronze Sculptures
September 12- 16, 2000

This 5-day workshop/seminar will familiarize the participants with
the basic principles of artistic bronze casting. It will focus
primarily on the lost wax process, but will also provide an
introduction to sand casting. This practical experience will serve
as a basis for understanding and recognizing the kinds of features,
which one may encounter during the technical investigation of
post-medieval bronze sculptures. The structure of the course will be
informal, as it will be dictated to a large extent by the
experimental work. The workshop will combine hands-on experience (in
making a bronze and interpreting evidence), lecture presentations
and discussions. Each of the participants will take a small hollow
wax piece through the various stages of the "indirect" lost wax
casting process and will also have the opportunity to work on a
larger communal piece made by the "direct" lost wax casting process.
We will use these objects to experiment with a variety of mold
materials, waxes, alloys, texturing, repairing and joining methods,
and surface coloration processes.

Documentation will be an important part of the experiments as it
will help us gauge what kinds of alterations may occur in the course
of the process. A selection of pieces will be radiographed at
different stages of the process (the wax stage, once the mold has
been burned out and after the piece is cast). We will also cut open
one (or more) of them to ascertain what the features that have been
interpreted in the radiographs look like from the inside. We will
also take metal samples from the pieces produced by the participants
for alloy composition analysis and metallographic analysis to be
performed at a later date and the results will be shared with the

In the course of the workshop Francesca Bewer will give several
informal slide presentations on the technical study of bronzes
drawing to a large extent on material she has worked with over the
years. She will provide handouts with information on key methods of
analysis and examination and a select bibliography. No prior
knowledge of bronze casting or of Renaissance bronzes is necessary
but those participants who have technical material they may want to
discuss are welcome to bring it along.

Tutors: Andrew Lacey (sculptor, bronze founder and
archaeometallurgist), Francesca Bewer (Associate Curator for
Research--in art technical matters--at the Straus Center for
Conservation, Harvard University Art Museums) and Dana
Goodburn-Brown (archaeological conservator and educator)

Cost of course is 360 Pounds Sterling. Course can accommodate 6-8

This is one of a series of Hands-on Ancient Technology courses
offered by Ancient Materials, Technology and Conservation (AMTeC)
CO-OP Ltd. located in The Historic Dockyard in Chatham, Kent, ca. 1
hour SE of London. It is easily accessible by rail. Accommodations
can be arranged nearby and will cost 30-40 Pounds Sterling/night.

For registration and more information on the course please contact
Andrew Lacey at AMTeC CO-OP Ltd., +44 1634 832 627
<andrewlacey1 [at] hotmail__com>. Francesca Bewer is also available for
information at 617-495-0987 <fbewer [at] fas__harvard__edu>.

For more information on AMTeC CO-OP Ltd. visit

(Please note that Dana Goodburn-Brown, whose e-mail is given as the
contact address on the web site, will be away for much of the time
preceding the course and will not be able to respond to enquiries
regarding it.)

Francesca G. Bewer
Associate Curator for Research
Straus Center for Conservation
Harvard University Art Museums
32 Quincy Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
Fax: 617-495-0322

                  Conservation DistList Instance 14:8
                  Distributed: Thursday, July 27, 2000
                        Message Id: cdl-14-8-004
Received on Tuesday, 25 July, 2000

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