On Friday, August 31 we unveiled the bronze sculpture in front of the chapel. This was the culmination of a year's work which had begun even earlier when Neil Garry and I had discussed the idea of producing something like this as a gift to the college community on behalf of the old collegians for the school centenary.
The making of a sculpture like this requires very careful planning as at every stage of production there is an element of waste, hence the term “lost wax bronze casting”.
The bronze figure is walking on the last three of eleven slate coloured tiles, the first tile is a dedication plaque, the other ten are diary entries that represent the ten decades of college history.
The construction of the sculpture started with modelling the figure in my studio in Broad Bay over the summer holidays, once this was completed the casting stage was initiated using silicon rubber and a hard jacket to contain the mould made from several sections of fibreglass.
We were now at the halfway point of the project and roughly 1000 hours into it.
The next stage was to ship the moulds off to an Auckland sculpture foundry called “Monument”.
Once there, two highly competent technicians began the process of laying up wax in the moulds and transforming the wax sections into bronze. Needless to say “Monument” made an outstanding job of their part in the project and after a further five months, the bronze sculpture arrived back down here ready for a relatively easy installation.
Bronze will last for thousands of years and this sculpture will look pretty much the same as it does now for a long, long time into the future.