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How Ancient Bronze Statues Were Made

See the lost-wax method in action.

Bronze statues come to life differently than marble statues. Instead of carving a block or marble, the bronze artist uses the lost-wax technique to make a series of molds, and then pours melted bronze into the final mold to create the sculpture. This method has been around since 4500 BCE.

The short film above—from Renana Aldor and Kobi Vogman—was created for The Israel Museum in Jerusalem, and uses stop-motion and 2-D animation to show how the lost-wax technique works. The sculpture (re)created in this video is “Statue of Hadrian clad in body armour” (117–138 CE) from Tel Shalem, Israel, one of the three bronzes on display as part of the current exhibit Hadrian: An Emperor Cast in Bronze.