Process: Echeveria Casting

Casting Succulents in Bronze

Last week we had a bronze pour and I have been cleaning up a few pieces. Finished a test patina today which I will not likely be able to replicate, but it gives me a good starting point.

So here is Echeveria imbricata, “Blue Rose”.  It’s about 4ish inches in diameter. Patina process includes a potash base, wipe to reveal bronze, cupric chloride, a light green patina, and some tan made with bismuth for the roots. Finished with a satin varnish clear coat and a wee bit of wax. Here are some process pics…

Gating System:
I went with a basic “U” shape because an earlier cast had too much force when the bronze flowed directly into the plant. The thin shell between the leaves cracked and bronze went everywhere. It also helps to cast the root system allowing them to fill and act as vents. Later root systems are casting much better with a small fix to this first draft.

Andy Rader: Bronze Cast Echeveria Plant - gating
Gating structure for casting.
After Casting:

Most of the root system was able to cast. There was some plant material left after the burnout, but the real issue was getting out all of the ceramic shell from the tight areas. There was also some flashing between the leaves that was eventually not worth the effort to clean.

Andy Rader: Bronze Cast Echeveria Plant - cast
After casting with large venting removed.

 

Finished piece with patina (Side view):

Andy Rader: Bronze Cast Echeveria Plant - competed piece with root structure
Finished piece with completed patina.

 

Finished (with Walnut base):

Andy Rader: Bronze Cast Echeveria Plant - Walnut Base
Finished piece with walnut base. There is a hole in the center to allow for the root structure.

 

Out in the yard with some old friends…

Andy Rader - Bronze - Echeveria imbricata
Echeveria imbricata – Final bronze casting in garden.

I have started finishing work on the next casting. The Aloe cast well but is taking longer to clean up since it’s about three times the size of this guy. Also hoping to secure a classier pedestal.