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Foundry

DSW makes use of the lost wax process, a casting method dating back to between 4500 and 3500 BC, where molten metal is cast into a ceramic mould that was created through a wax model. This process allows for intricate detail and precision to be achieved in the final bronze. DSW is equipped to cast in silicone bronze, aluminium and stainless steel by means of an induction furnace, which is widely regarded as a clean, energy-efficient and well-controllable melting process. As a very technical and labour intensive process, casting of a small-scale sculpture can take between six and ten weeks, whereas a larger scale bronze can take up to six months before completion.

The foundry has collaborated on a number of large scale traditional public art monuments and portraits, such as Chief Tshwane at the Pretoria City Hall, Brenda Fassie in Newtown, Johannesburg and Solomon Mahlangu in Mamelodi, Pretoria. Furthermore, by working with established sculptors, the studio constantly develops its proficiency and skill through hands-on experience, skills-transfer and a focus on acquiring tacit knowledge.

The casting and finishing of projects such as The One Brother and the Dark Cloud by Angus Taylor, and Cogitator and Know Thyself by Norman Catherine exemplifies the technically complex foundry processes involved in casting sculpture. The relation between the scale of the sculptures and the finely textured surface detail called for extensive laborious finishing whilst the height, weight and canter leverage of the forms required intelligent joining and engineering.