|KEY WORD :@art history / sculptures|
| Also rougata chuuzou X^’, rougata imono
X^¨. A method of metal casting known as the lost-wax technique. Frequently used
in Japan for casting bronze statues, which were often gilded. See *kondou
ΰΊ. First, a basic model of the desired vessel or statue was made in clay or plaster.
This was then covered with a layer of beeswax mixed with pine resin, which was
moulded to the required shape and engraved with surface details. An outer layer
of soft clay or plaster was then applied over the wax. The outer clay mould and
the inner model were secured from the sides, or at the front and back, using fragments
of metal *katamochi ^
or metal pins *kougai β .
The entire construction was then fired, causing the mould to harden and the wax
to melt and run out. Melted metal was poured into the gap left by the wax, between
the outer mould and the inner core. When the metal had cooled and hardened the
statue was removed from the inner and outer moulds, and the marks left by the
pins were repaired. See *ikake
Solid metal statues were produced from a model made directly from wax without an inner core. This model was then covered, fired and cast.
The lost-wax method allowed free modelling, as the wax surface was very easy to work, and was suitable for casting complex forms and intricate detail. It produced a beautifully smooth, sculptural surface in bronze.
In Japan the lost-wax method was used from the 6c, beginning with small gilt-bronze statues of the Asuka and Nara periods such as the Shoukannonzou ΉΟΉ in Yakushiji ςt, Nara. Most of Japan's early bronze statues are believed to have been made by this method. Its use continued during and after the Heian period, and the same technique was used to make small decorative carvings *netsuke ͺt in the Edo period.
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