Since its inception, the Allan Houser Foundry has maintained the original quality of Allan Houser's work as the final editions are cast. From the view of foundry personnel, quality is something to strive for throughout the process, not just the final product. The crew prides itself on maintaining and exceeding the expectations that the artist had set forth.
The mold process is the most critical, being the first step in the process. Molds are used for each and every copy of the edition; therefore, a quality mold is a must. Allan Houser Foundry carefully constructs the mold, taking into consideration not only a wax copy, but also a wax that is easily poured and dressed. This helps preserve the integrity of the original pieces as created by the artist. Since molds can be used for a long time, only quality materials are used, with longevity a definite goal.
Waxes are poured with thickness and consistency in mind to produce the best metal casting possible. Talented individuals reproduce the most challenging textures while dressing the waxes. The combination of the well-poured wax and one that is beautifully dressed is the perfect culmination to this step in the process.
With decades of combined experience, foundry personnel sprue the wax. Not only must the dip be considered in spruing the wax, the way the metal ultimately flows through the shell is critical for a great casting. Each piece has its nuances, and the foundry crew always finds it a challenge to take the most convoluted shape and sprue it in such a manner that the casting comes out flawless.
In the dip room, the employees have raised the next part of the process to an art form. Not only are first coats critical for reproduction of the textures, extra care is taken throughout building the shell so that problem areas can be avoided in the bronze when the shell is cast.
The burnout goes hand in hand with building the shell. Between the dip and the burnout, a good hard shell is created, setting the stage for the best castings possible. The Allan Houser Foundry boasts an exceptional loss rate, well below industry standards.
The pour is the most dramatic part of the foundry process, and one of the most critical. Each wax has been analyzed and noted as to individual needs. The pour temperature and order is set for each shell for the best quality castings. The Allan Houser Foundry does not prescribe to the saying, "if there is metal in the shell, it was a good casting". The true test comes after the castings have cooled and the shell has been removed. This is when the metal workers take over the piece.
The chasers expertise in reproducing textures as the piece is put together is a sight to see. They are great welders and have a good eye for the form intended for the piece. They repair any flaws that occur during the previous steps. In the end, there is a solid, quality bronze ready for the patina.
The patina enhances and protects the sculpture, while incorporating the artist’s vision of the finished work. The patina department at the Allan Houser Foundry has extensive experience in many types and styles of patinas. The foundry has worked extensively with large outdoor sculptures where longevity is a concern. Whether the piece is a monumental work, or smaller in scale, the Allan Houser Foundry can accommodate your patina needs.
The Allan Houser foundry also fabricates bases for large-scale pieces in a variety of media and finishes. The crew is experienced in crating, shipping and installing large works. We work with individuals to fulfill their needs.