More than a decade ago, Lisa Höller, introduced to handicraft by Harald P. Höller, began to concentrate extensively on bronze painting, and through her know-how and masterly execution has become an irreplaceable specialist at Wiener [...]
The only thing that has changed in bronze manufacture is the casting process. This is the manufacture and reproduction of the raw casts, which only become Vienna Bronzes through time-consuming manual labour by the chaser. That, which previously was done only through painstaking sand casting, has today largely been replaced by the centrifugal and vacuum casting process, which also has the advantage of higher accuracy. This is an advantage for Vienna Bronze and its fine detail. Large bronze figures are still cast in sand for financial and technical reasons. Of course the appearance of electronically operated tools such as mills, grinders and drills has also eased the process somewhat.
The most important work tools for a chaser were – and still are – his individual and
specialised punches, which, as a rule, he makes himself. Masters of the craft own
hundreds of different punches, in order to be equipped for the most difficult tasks.
The individual stages of manufacture:
- 1. The modeller creates a model from materials of his choice: wax, clay, plasticine,
- 2. The model is moulded and the first cast made from it.
- 3. This first cast is made as precisely as possible according to the original model.
- 4. A mould is made from this model. This is called the master mould. An original comes exclusively from the master mould.
- 5. After manufacture of the raw cast, the work of the chaser begins. A raw cast of
Vienna bronze cannot be used directly from the foundry. Only the skill of the chaser
can make a raw casting into a high quality Vienna Bronze. For the most part, this
requires many working hours.
- 6. Many bronze figures consist of several casting parts and, after the individual parts
have been processed, are soldered with tin or silver.
- 7. In the last and very important stage the bronze is painted. An experienced painter can increase the effect of a bronze figure by using certain techniques, thus emphasising the fine work of the chaser. Wiener Bronze Manufaktur places great value on this. The painting is an important criterion for the quality of a Vienna Bronze, and one should always pay attention to this when making a purchase.