Skip
Current Issue
This Month's Print Issue

Follow Fast Company

We’ll come to you.

1 minute read

Watch How Bronze Statues Were Cast 4,500 Years Ago

This captivating stop-motion video will make you appreciate the intricacy of old-world craftsmanship.

Confession: I’m not impressed by a single 3-D printed thing I see. Turtle eggs. Child prosthetics*. It's evil of me, I know. But 3-D printing is just too easy, right? Even the most intricate design—something that took hundreds of hours of modeling and iteration—is still crafted by a robot.

But watching this stop-motion animation on bronze casting, by Renana Aldor and Kobi Vogman for the Israel Museum, I’m reminded that beauty can be born from process.

It’s a demonstration of the "lost wax" method of casting a bronze statue, which involves casting an imprint of an object (which could even be a bronze statue), filling that imprint with liquid wax, cleaning the hardened wax figurine with a fine pick, re-casting the wax with bronze nails jammed in, melting the wax away from the mold, and then filling the remaining crevasse with molten bronze.

It’s so much strange and seemingly indirect work that, when you see the final, gleaming product come out of the cast, the result feels impossible and inevitable at the same time. The resulting bronze bust is a perfect figure that will last forever, and it was made entirely by hand.

Not that your 3-D printed pizza doesn’t look totes delicioso.

*Okay, okay, the 3-D printed prosthetics can be tear-jerkers, too.

loading