Tsuru Patina

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After receiving a bright patina with dark recesses, the bronze is ready to be waxed.

One of the greatest challenges working in bronze is having to manipulate one medium, like clay or wood, to achieve a desired effect in another, often with great spans of time and intricate processes in between. While sculpting the original crane form for our Tsuru Project in wood, I was thinking how the surface texture would look cast in bronze. You can imagine my delight when I finally got a glimpse of the completed sculpture as the patina was being applied by Artworks Foundry in Berkeley. Over six months has lapsed since I carved the original and it’s now ready to be integrated into the landscape at the new Ralph L Carr Justice Center in Denver, surrounded by granite pavings and benches of our own design.

It certainly would have been easier to build the original sculpture in foam or clay, but I wanted its surface to complement my idealized, somewhat primitive depiction of the whooping crane, a symbol of justice and independence in many cultures throughout human history. Though naturalistic in its posture and siting, I want the sculpture to have the iconic presence of devotional sculpture from the ancient world.

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Click here to read about the development of our Tsuru Project.