Making Monuments from Wax

Wax casting is an ancient casting process that facilitates the process of creating thousands of objects each day. A huge variety of objects are manufactured with wax casting, from toilets to delicate figurines. What many people may not realize, however, is that wax casting is also used to make monuments and statues for decorative purposes, especially for large-scale monuments including war monuments and any other statue with a high level of detail.

The basic casting process goes something like this: First, an artist creates a wax or clay model of the desired piece. For large monuments, the model is likely much smaller than the dimensions of the finished product. Next, the dimensions are altered and a rubber mold is made of the statue. The mold is then lined with melted wax, creating a hollow of the desired piece. The wax is then dipped in a ceramic slurry to create a hard mold of the statue. The mold is then heated and baked so that the mold hardens around the wax shell. The mold is then heated so the wax melts and is filled with the desired material, often a metal like bronze or pewter. Once the metal hardens, the outer mold is broken and the monument is removed.  An artist then will normally make any adjustments necessary to the statue, such as removing mold lines, adding detail, smoothing rough spots, and adding any finishing touches to the monument before it is placed in its final resting home. Some monuments that weigh 5,000 pounds or more still use the wax casting process to create the object.

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