Friday, July 29, 2011

A metal sculpture (updated)

Can anybody tell me what this chinese sculpture is likely to be made of? It has rusty spots, but surely nobody would make a sculpture out of iron?

Andreas said:
Why not iron? Find a magnet and find out ... 

Of course!
... Well, it's not iron.
Funny about those rusty spots then.
[By the way, those and the general weathered look has a large part in why I wanted exactly this one. I even mailed to make sure I wouldn't get another sample.]

Bert asked for macro pictures, which I now provide below, and had a question:

How heavy is the statue? 
Not bad, maybe 6 kilos, it's definitely hollow. The bottom is a thin sheet soldered on, the body is more solid, walls must be several milimeters. Definitely metal, heavy-ish, and doesn't feel like it would dent easily. ... I think on the site it said it was bronze, it could be low-grade bronze with steel and stuff mixed in, perhaps.
It's 40cm (16") tall.

(Click for big pic)
By the way, the pics are from a years-old Canon Ixus 960 (Powershot 950). Those small Canons are awesome. I got it in 2007. Here are some other pics from it. I think the best of class presently is the S95. 

posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Friday, July 29, 2011   13 comments links to this post


At 29 Jul 2011, 21:52:00, Anonymous Andreas Weber said...

Why not iron? Find a magnet and find out ...

At 29 Jul 2011, 22:22:00, Blogger eolake said...

Of course!
... Well, it's not iron.

At 29 Jul 2011, 22:30:00, Blogger Bronislaus Janulis said...

It's probably "pot Metal" which is a melange, meaning there might be some pieces of iron it. I've seen quite a few small cast sculptures made from it.

At 29 Jul 2011, 22:31:00, Blogger Bronislaus Janulis said...

Nicely finished, and the rust might come from being outside.

At 29 Jul 2011, 23:05:00, Anonymous Philocalist said...

'but surely nobody would make a sculpture out of iron?'

Hmmm ... The Angel of The North, just outside of Gateshead ... it's the size of a Boeing jet ... and rusty by intention!

At 30 Jul 2011, 02:00:00, Blogger Jeff R. said...

Pot metal is the best guess for a contemporary piece. Artificially "antiqued". Bronze if it's a bit older.
Are you prepared to file off the surface a bit on the base, or some inconspicuous place? Then tell us the colour of the fresh metal?

Yellowy/gold = bronze.
Silvery/grey = pot metal (zinc, lead, tin, all sorts of crud.)

("Rust" is probably a subjective term here. Bronze forms all sorts of yukky deposits, depending on the environment.)

At 30 Jul 2011, 09:37:00, Anonymous Ken said...

A relative had a figure about 15cm high, which was obviously iron. It is cheap and can be melted, so why not use it.

At 30 Jul 2011, 10:55:00, Blogger eolake said...

OK, I have scratched him a bit under the elbow, and it's a bright metal, but definitely with a yellow tinge.

I actually have a new bronze art object which is about that color. I asked them about it, and they said that they had to alloy the bronze quite much because the pure stuff was oxidising very fast, and fingerprints couldn't be removed.

At 30 Jul 2011, 23:22:00, Blogger john c said...

Strange it isn't bronze colored? that is more like a cast iron look texture and color My guess is that it was made with a brass- bronze mix for ease of casting and a iron based finish put on possibly by a form of electroplating to achieve the color, which then got spots of rust

At 31 Jul 2011, 08:53:00, Blogger Jeff R. said...

Actually, it is bronze coloured. There's an enormous range of possible bronze patinas, and the one you've shown is well within the range.
We just need to re-name the "rust" to "oxidation", or maybe "verdigris". (I hope not, since verdigris wickedly dissolves the base metal under it. It should be removed.)

I'd say the vendors were honest and correct, and it is indeed bronze. And why not? It's a brilliant casting metal, a little pricey but much lower temperature than iron.

At 31 Jul 2011, 18:48:00, Blogger eolake said...

I knew that bronze can get green oxidation (it's mostly copper), but I didn't know it could get red oxidation too.

At 31 Jul 2011, 21:52:00, Blogger eolake said...

[By the way, those and the general weathered look has a large part in why I wanted exactly this one. I even mailed to make sure I wouldn't get another sample.]

At 1 Aug 2011, 15:15:00, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nicely finished, and the rust might come from being outside.


Ah, Bron, I've missed your genius!


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