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Yoruba Bronze Head


Keep up with the latest from Kristian Damholt's metal studio.  I will be writing about current projects in sculpture, jewelry, furniture, and custom work, as well as discussing my own artistic journey.

Yoruba Bronze Head

Kristian Damholt

Most of the mounts I build are simple and straightforward.  I build an armature to support an artifact, make sure it is as unobtrusive as possible, paint it flat black, and call it done.  Sometimes, however, the piece calls for special treatment.  Sometimes the base is not intended to disappear, but will become an integrated whole with the artifact in question.  That was the case with this Yoruba bronze head I finished working on recently.

My client wanted a base with some visual weight to it, rather than a thin steel plate, but weight was a factor so it couldn't be solid.  He also wanted a finish with some warmth and texture, in keeping with the naturally aged patina of the bronze.

I started by cutting some pieces of 1/8" steel sheet, and welded them into a box 2" high and just a little wider than the head.  I ground the welds smooth, and sanded all surfaces to an even finish.  Once the box was done, I built the armature that would support the head, floating just an inch above the box.  I hand applied a patina to the steel base, and finished it with wax for a smooth, warm luster.

Leave a comment below to let me know what you think, or contact me if you'd like to know how I can help you with a similar project.