Lost wax technique for Metal Works
The lost-wax technique or process is used for making objects of metals. This process is mostly used in Himachal Pradesh, Odisha, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, and West Bengal.
The technique differs slightly in each region. The low wax process involves different steps.
First, the wax model of the image is made by the hand of pure beeswax the has been made liquid by melting over an open fire and then strained through a fine cloth into the basin of cold water.
Then the wax resolidifies immediately and is pressed through a pick or pharni that squeezes the wax into a noodle-like shape. These wax noodles then wound around to the shape of the image.
Next, the image is covered with a thick coating of paste that is made of equal parts of clay, sand, and cow dung. Into an opening on one side, a clay pot is fixed and in this molten metal is poured.
The weight of the metal to be used is ten times that of wax. Here used in the entire process is measured. The metal used here is the scraps of broken pots, pans, etc.
The molten metal is poured into the clay pot. Now the clay plastered model is exposed to firing. As the wax inside melts, the metal flows down the channel, and then it takes on the shape of the wax image.
This process is carried out like a religious ritual and all the steps take place in dead silence.
The image is later chiseled with files to smoothen and to give a smooth finish.
Sometimes an alloy of five metals such as gold, silver, copper, brass, and lead is used to cast bronze images.
Some famous bronze statues are Devi Chola Bronze, Ganesh Kashmir 7th Century, Nataraja Chola Period 12th century AD.