Modelling, casting and other techniques

Bronze casting – including wax sculpting with Shane Whitehead

Ref: S7D09481

Suitable for all

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About this course

Create a cast bronze sculpture. First producing a wax sculpture for casting (150mm max), then discover wax pouring, silicone mould making, lost wax casting and bronze casting processes, while producing at least one small completed piece.

Course Description

Discover the ancient technique of bronze casting using the lost wax process.

The focus is to achieve at least one finished cast bronze piece. You will be led through a lively, intense course following all the processes involved in casting, from wax sculpting to your finished sculpture.

We will begin the course with an introduction to the different sculpting waxes, their qualities and the appropriate tools and equipment used for sculpting them.

You will need to complete a small wax sculpture (strictly 150mm maximum dimension in height, width or depth) as the first step in the process of lost wax bronze casting. The next stages of preparing the wax model include wax treeing and ceramic shell coating. These will first be demonstrated before you undertake this process.

An introduction to the processes used in bronze casting will provide you with a basic grounding and understanding of technique, the practical aspects of casting and the creative possibilities of the casting process.

Once we have cast the models we will continue the process towards finishing the work - this includes chasing, polishing and finally patination.

General timetable:

Day 1: Health and safety, discuss chosen subject, wax preparation, sculpting.

Day 2: Sculpting, tool study, finishing techniques.

Day 3: Wax working including the construction of the wax pouring system. First coating of constructed pouring systems with ceramic shell.

Day 4: Three further coatings of ceramic shell, Silicone mould making demonstration and instruction for the following day's casting.

Day 5: Casting day.

Day 6: De-shelling castings. Removing casting from the pouring systems. Chasing.

Day 7: Further chasing. Patination, polishing and finishing.

(Part of the course will be held near the Forge, a short walk from the College (the main house) through the walled garden. It can be accessed by vehicle using the garden entrance.)

Course Materials


  • The wax, bronze, casting materials and gas.

What students need to bring

  • Choose a subject you wish to sculpt, picture reference
  • Modelling tools (please mark any tools you bring)
  • Steel capped shoes or boots (mandatory)
  • Old clothes or boiler suits
  • Please note that all clothing should be in natural fibres with no manmade fibre content

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • Modelling tools

For your safety it is mandatory to wear steel toe capped safety boots when undertaking a course in the forge. Students must provide their own footwear and bring them with them to wear on the course. If you fail to bring suitable footwear, you will not be able to take part in the course. Safety boots can be purchased from most tool hire shops and builders merchants as well as online.

Student Reviews

"An excellent course delivered to inspire confidence in learning a brand new skill with the ability to continue this process afterwards. Great fun, thought provoking and all the necessary information to take away, Thank you ! "

Kate 2019

"High standard of tuition and regular constructive feedback from the tutor throughout the course"

Rebecca 2019

"Learning skills and techniques on the course, in a supportive and convivial atmosphere"

Helen 2019


Shane Whitehead

Shane Whitehead manages a bronze foundry in Somerset whilst sculpting his own work in bronze. He originally worked in graphic design where his interest in ornament was fostered.


Residential option available. Find out accommodation costs and how to book here.

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