Devotee Statue - Antique Indonesian Style Bronze Javanese Devotee of Buddha Statue - 27cm/11"

The Art of Lost Wax Casting: Creating Timeless Statues


As you may have noticed from the delightful detail visible on many of our bronze sculptures and through our statue descriptions most are cast using the lost wax casting process. Also known as investment casting, this is a centuries-old method for creating intricate and detailed sculptures, figurines, and statues. This intricate and labor-intensive process has been employed by artists and artisans throughout history to produce enduring and magnificent works of art. In this Blog, we will explore the fascinating journey of how lost wax statues are made, from initial concept to final creation.

Design and Sculpture

The process of making a lost wax statue begins with the design and creation of the original sculpture. An artist, often skilled in sculpting or modeling, crafts the statue from a suitable material such as clay, wax, or other moldable substances. This sculpture serves as the prototype for the final bronze or metal statue and must capture the desired form, proportions, and intricate details.

Mold Making

Once the original sculpture is complete, a mold is created. The artist covers the sculpture in layers of silicone rubber or other mold-making materials. This mold captures the fine details of the original sculpture. Once the mold is set, it is removed from the original piece, leaving behind a negative impression of the sculpture.

Wax Reproduction

The negative mold is then filled with molten wax to create a positive wax reproduction of the original sculpture. The wax model, or "pattern," is meticulously crafted to ensure it retains all the intricate details of the artist's design. The wax is typically hollow, ensuring that it can be easily removed during the casting process.

Assembling the Wax Pattern

If the final statue is large or complex, the wax pattern may be made in multiple sections, which will be joined together later. A wax "sprue" (a wax rod or tube) is also attached to the wax pattern. This sprue serves as a channel for the flow of molten metal and a way for gases to escape during casting.

Bronze Ganesha 

Investment and Ceramic Shell

The wax pattern is then coated with a ceramic shell to create a hard and heat-resistant mold. This involves repeatedly dipping the wax pattern in a ceramic slurry and coating it with a layer of fine sand or ceramic particles. This process is repeated multiple times, with each layer allowed to dry before the next is applied. The result is a durable and heat-resistant shell that will withstand the high temperatures of the metal casting process.


Once the ceramic shell is dry and hardened, it is subjected to high temperatures in a kiln to melt and remove the wax from within. This is why the process is called "lost wax casting." The wax is "lost" during this step as it melts and drains out, leaving behind an empty cavity in the shape of the original sculpture.


With the ceramic shell prepared, it is now ready for casting. Molten metal, typically bronze, is poured into the cavity left by the removed wax. The metal is heated to its melting point and carefully poured into the shell to fill the void left by the wax pattern. The metal cools and solidifies, taking on the form of the original sculpture.

Cooling and Removal

After the metal has cooled and hardened, the ceramic shell is carefully broken or chipped away to reveal the newly cast bronze statue. Any sprues or excess metal are removed, and the statue is polished to enhance its details and shine.

Finishing and Patina

The final step involves the finishing and patination of the bronze statue. Artisans may use various techniques to bring out the desired color and surface texture. Chemicals, heat, or even the application of pigments can create a range of finishes, from deep browns to vibrant greens. The patina also serves to protect the metal from corrosion and wear over time.


The lost wax casting process is an intricate and time-honored method of creating stunning statues and sculptures that capture the imagination and emotion of artists and admirers alike. From the initial design and sculpting to the final patination, the creation of a lost wax statue is a journey of craftsmanship, precision, and artistic vision. The enduring appeal of this ancient technique lies in its ability to bring timeless artistry to life, preserving the essence of the original sculpture for generations to come.

Bronze Devi