Bronze Puffin Sculpture – Flippy Flappy
Traditional Rich Bronze Patina
Sculpted in tribute to the puffins of Bempton Cliffs in Yorkshire, Flippy Flappy is just one of the characters I watched with joy and managed to catch on camera during my visits to the stunning coastline.
They never fail to bring a smile to our faces, always appearing cheerful and comical. Adorable, playful, sociable little birds, I sculpted Flippy Flappy to capture the essence of the puffin and how they make us feel, rather than an anatomical, biological copy.
This cheeky little chap is where my bronze journey began – it’s all his fault.
Why? Because as I was smoothing his cheeks, he was looking me in the eyes and I had the overwhelming desire to keep him to myself.
Knowing that’s not how it works in the real world, I began daydreaming about getting him cast in bronze so I could keep him and share him.
Could I? Should I? DARE I?
Bronze, in my eyes, is meant for the best artists’ best work. Who was I to think I could have my art cast forever more in such a prestigious material. How dare I?!
Well, you know what, I’ve made big leaps of faith before and I’m sure it won’t be the last time so yes, little old me took Flippy Flappy to the foundry to be immortalised in bronze.
Not just any bronze, but foundry cast silicon bronze.
Well, surely they deserve the best. You won’t find any resin, tin, lead or iron which can weaken and corrode bronzes.
The bronze used is made up of 96% copper, 1% manganese and 3% silicon. The addition of the silicon adds extra strength to the sculpture. Despite it making the process more challenging and costly for the foundry, we think it’s worth it to get the best result.
Limited Numbered Edition 2 of 12
Approx. Size 25cm height (9.8″) x 39cm (15.3″) width x 27cm (10.6″) depth
Approx. Weight 7kg
Shipping Complementary international shipping is provided for my artist bronzes – customers are responsible for any customs and duties on international shipments. Each sculpture will be carefully packed along with their certificate of authentication and guide on how best to look after your investment.
UK delivery – please allow 5 working days. International delivery will take longer but is tracked.
VAT – Price includes VAT at 20% in applicable countries
How are they made?
I start each sculpture in exactly the same way, with a bag of professional grade clay.
Once dried but not bone dry, Flippy Flappy was ready to have his mould made. As a more complex piece he needed to be cut up into 3 sections so in fact had 3 separate plaster moulds created.
From the plaster moulds, silicon moulds were made.
When a new Flippy Flappy is born, hot wax is poured into those silicon moulds to create an exact copy of each piece.
These are then carefully assembled to produce an exact copy of the original clay Flippy Flappy in wax, which is then dipped multiple times into a ceramic slurry to form an outer coating to the wax.
Once dry, they’re then put in the furnace and the wax melts out, leaving a hollow ceramic shell.
It’s this shell that the molten bronze is then poured into.
Once the bronze has cooled, the ceramic shell is knocked off to reveal the bronze casting beneath. The inside is ground out and then the pieces assembled and finished by hand.
Then comes the patination process – a combination of heat and different chemicals to produce different colours.
Once the patina is complete, Flippy Flappy gets all hot and bothered again before a generous coating of wax is applied to protect the finish, he’s allowed to cool, then buffed to a shine.
What a handsome chap!
Here’s some snaps I took during his creation process…