menu of bronze patina finishes, Artworks Foundry, Berkeley, CA
To me, making is best the more closely it resembles cooking, and a day of making-related meetings is best when it orbits around eating. Our day began yesterday dropping off the completed and finally-approved creatures for our Sunnyside Menagerie Project at Artworks Foundry in Berkeley, where they will be cast in bronze using the ancient lost wax technique.
silica-ceramic slurry stirring vat
The foundry’s artisans will build rubber molds of the sculptures to produce multiple wax positives. I will then apply final detailing to the waxes, which will have new molds constructed around them, specially designed to allow the melted wax to escape as it is displaced by molten bronze. The final bronzes will then be cleaned up and patinated using a combination of chemical treatments to achieve the balance of protection, surface patterning and coloration appropriate to the site. For thousands of years, bronzes were either left raw or were initially buried, gaining patina by interacting with environmental elements, achieving their surface and color patterning slowly over time. I would prefer to leave the bronze raw, but the salinity of the air in San Francisco may act too quickly on its surface, leaving it dull and greenish.
menu at Vik’s Chaat House in Berkeley, CA
Ene and I stopped at our favorite restaurant for lunch a few blocks from the foundry before crossing the Bay for an afternoon presentation for the San Francisco Arts Commission. Vik’s Chaat House serves beautifully prepared, unpretentious Indian ‘street food’, ordered a la carte and eaten off of paper plates with (biodegradable) plastic sporks. I used to eat at Vik’s two or three times a week when I had a shop in West Berkeley, but enjoy reserving it for our occassional forays into town even more, and find it a necessary compliment to country life.