Lost Wax Tradition
Lost Wax Tradition – What is it all about?
The art of making sculptures is seen with raised eyebrows by art lovers across the world. Many different methods have been deployed since ages to make beautifully carved sculptures and the world history has recognized the dancing girl sculpture found since the time of Harappan Civilization.
Here we go with world’s most amazing tradition of making sculptures using an incredibly wonderful technique called “Lost Wax” which has set its foot strongly in the history in the Most Admired Category. The technique was introduced by Cholas, the longest ruling dynasty from 850 CE to 1250 CE across the Southern region of India. The bronze statues made in this category are in fact popularly known as Chola Bronze Statues, and the demand for such unique products never fades away, owing to its unique cultural value.
Watch to know how is a Panchaloka statue created
The seasoned artisans associated with us for decades pay utmost attention to minute details while creating a statue using ancient Lost Wax Tradition. The video takes you through the sequencing of the entire process. Marvel the techniques involved, the moment the statue evolves is indeed very surprising!
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Step 1: All begin with a “Midrib” or “Eerkili”
The midribs of coconut tree leaves are used for outline of the proposed model of the statue are noted. No devices are used for measurements.
Step 2: Bees Wax into a Handmade skeleton
Using the measurements taken, handmade skeleton bees wax models are crafted marked with major lines and divisions.
Step 3: Wax model splashed with Delta Clay
The wax model is covered with the clay leaving a small hole at the bottom and is left to dry for few days without any disturbance to the structure.
Step 4: Wax Lost – Embryo made
The clay covered wax models are baked in fire and one can witness the wax inside runs out in melted condition, leaving behind only the clay model. This is the moment where the term Lost Wax becomes True, turning the model “Only one of its kind” .
Step 5: Embryo Evolves into a statue
An alloy of five metals Zinc, Copper, Tin, Silver and Gold are heated to form a metal called “Panchaloka”(combination of Five metals). The alloy is heated to a very high temperature of 1400 degrees Celsius. The heated mixture is poured from the crucible into the embryo carefully .The embryo is let to cool for few days.
Step 6: Statue with all its beauty
The outer clay layer of the embryo is removed very carefully with chisels and the statue taken out are now ready for further processing by the artisans. The entire team works on the statue, chiseling and filing for weeks turns it into a beautiful statue with all minute details like fingernails and the statue is further adorned with jewels, hairstyles and crowns . Bas reliefs are made with similar procedures.
Now the Bronze statue is ready to adorn your home, workplace or wherever you want to add serene touch. Unlike the machining process, Lost Wax Technique produces only one statue.
Chola’s Lost Wax Tradition is kept intact for thousands of years in the form of magnificent sculptures and figurines in TamilNadu temples with the legacy on track!