Catafalque Reliefs

Catafalque Bronze Reliefs

The catafalque reliefs have been cast in special quality fine art bronze involving a long and complex process. The bronze used is a material that has been developed for sculpting and has very good casting properties which allows it to fill all the voids in the mould thus producing fine work.

The artist begins with a sketch or diagram of the desired item.

This is then made into a clay sculpture that needs to be very carefully designed and crafted as it forms the basis of the final item.

Joan Working on the Clay Sculpture of the Greek Soldier’s Head

Once the clay-based model is completed moulds are taken of the item – a final hard positive mould is then sent to the foundry for the casting process.

In the case of the reliefs used in the memorial, each figure was not cast as a single piece. For example, the head of the Australian soldier was cast separately as shown in the image. One can see the amount of cutting and trimming needed to bring the head to a manageable item. After trimming, the head, in this instance, it is welded using special welding rods to the body section. The weld is then ground so that the joint becomes, for all intents and purposes, invisible.

Head of the Australian Soldier

The Headless Section of the Australian Soldier

Following the assembly of the whole figure, the task of finishing begins. This requires long hours of careful grinding to ensure all details such as eyes, eyebrows, nostrils, badges, etc are finished to a very high realistic standard.

Charlie Smith Fine Grinding Details on the Australian Soldier

Charlie and Joanne Finishing the Greek Soldier

The Finished Heads of the Greek and Australian Soldiers

When the reliefs reach the stage where the artist is satisfied with the resultant standard, they are finally treated with a process known as intentional or artistic patina. In addition to enhancing the aesthetic appearance of each relief, the patina also acts as a protective surface.