Bronze Puffin Sculpture

Puffin Billy

Whilst watching the puffin visitors at Bempton Cliffs in Yorkshire, I was inspired by these cheeky characters.

Adorable, playful, tenacious, sociable little birds, it’s easy to see why they’re so loved.

Puffin Billy is a curious chap. Paddling about he makes his way from friend to friend, catching up on the day’s events before heading back to his own cosy burrow.

Limited Numbered Edition #1 of 12

Approx. Size 28cm height x 16cm width

Indoors or outdoors? The Puffin Billy I have with me is an indoor sculpture, please email me if you would like to commission an outdoor one – [email protected]

Ready to fly This puffin sculpture is with me so there is no waiting for him to be cast.

Free UK delivery!I generally post the next day using Royal Mail’s tracked 24 service, but please allow 5 working days.

International shipping

Cost of international shipping will be added at the checkout and customers are responsible for any customs and duties.

International delivery will take longer but is tracked.

VAT – Price includes VAT at 20% in applicable countries.

The real Billy

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, the robin was ready to have their plaster mould made.

From the plaster mould, a silicon mould was made.

When a new robin is born, hot wax is poured into those silicon mould to create an exact copy of each piece.

These are then carefully assembled to produce an exact copy of the original clayrobin 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, robin gets all hot and bothered again before a generous coating of wax is applied to protect the finish, they’re allowed to cool, then buffed to a shine.

Here’s some snaps I took during their creation process…

Bronze sculpture guide

Not all bronze sculptures are, well, bronze!

Let’s start with the basics: What exactly is bronze?

Bronze is a metal alloy mostly made up of copper. Mass-produced bronzes often skimp on the copper content and use tin, lead, and iron instead which leave the sculptures open to corrosion and breakages.

The bronze I use for my sculptures contain a high copper content of 96%, along with 1% manganese and 3% silicon. The added silicon strengthens the sculptures, although it makes the process more challenging and costly for the foundry.

Hot or cold?

Cold cast bronze refers to sculptures made with resin and moulds, sometimes finished with bronze powder to mimic the look of a genuine bronze sculpture.

Hot cast Bronze involves creating a mold from the original sculpture, followed by the creation of a wax copy. The wax piece is then dipped multiple times in a ceramic coating, creating a sturdy shell. This is then heated in a kiln to melt the wax. Molten bronze can then be poured into the ceramic shell. Once cooled, the ceramic shell is removed, and the sculpture is assembled and perfected. The finishing touches involve patination to create beautiful surfaces, followed by a seal of hot wax that gives the sculpture its sheen and protects the surface from the elements.

Limited editions.

The number of pieces in an edition directly impacts their exclusivity and value.

Higher edition numbers indicate less exclusivity, while lower numbers make each piece more sought after.

But that’s not all! Provenance matters too.

Can you trace the sculpture’s journey from the artist to your hands? Look for sculptures made in the UK by reputable foundries, as they proudly put their name to their work. And for your peace of mind and future valuation, you’ll receive a signed certificate of authentication alongside your bronze sculpture.

Caring for your bronze

A wipe over with a clean, soft, dry cloth is all that’s needed unless the bronze is kept outside when it will need wax applying at least once a year to keep the elements off it and it looking like it should. Left to the elements the surface will develop into a green effect which is also rather nice.