Choosing A Foundry
Many specialist fine art foundries operate across Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and every United Stater state, with California and New York, for example, hosting quite a bunch and bundle of them. With this much competition, any prospecting patron has many choices at the ready in many places, so they need not stay in a single location to acquire sculptures galore.
Social proof, or a known artist’s advice or recommendation, is one of the best ways to find a good founder, with an introduction coming second – especially if the introducer is a friend or the favourite customer of the foundry. However, this may not be an option, especially to those not previously versed or familiar with the field.
Find nearby and local ones in business directories, e.g., the Yellow pages or adverts in a specialist art magazine. And use the stupidly information-rich repository of the internet for a tad more ‘21-st century’ searching by typing in keywords like ‘art foundry’ or ‘bronze casting’ into a search engine, such as Google or DuckDuckGo.
Whatever the approach or way you use to find a founder, consider some standard and regular issues and questions before acquiring their services. The following are brief texts that may apply to such a consideration.
If your local or otherwise nearby foundry has the necessary facilities and can provide you with the services you require, you should use them.
Inspect all of the foundry’s waxes and approve a finish from among their selection of patinas. It will also be ideal if you supervise the final finishing process personally. These commitments and repeated visits are why you should get a local one, if possible, or a city or town in which you can conduct other business or chores each trip.
The larger the sculptural design, the more acceptable it is to travel long distances and transport your artworks. This rule is also the case if the foundry has to produce lots of little pieces. Oh, and consider job lots for casting your work.
Not all casting procedures are equal or equally available. There are dozens of low-wax-casting-specialised foundries for every sand casting one and ever fewer vacuum or centrifugal casting operations. In a similar vein, there are fewer large-scale foundries than there are ones for smaller-scale projects.
Indeed, you would be a lucky little artist if you do not need to travel far searching for a foundry with enough capacity or the equipment fit for a sizable sculpture in need of a sand-cast. However, the foundry may be able to arrange a different cast if needed and accommodated.
In the countries and regions previously mentioned, the active phenomenon of competition will lower most prices, especially where there is an abundance of commissions. Generally, cost and product quality are both balanced in a trade-off relationship.
And beware of putting too high a value on low cost. Otherwise, a false economy can diminish the resultant savings from acquiring the services of a low-cost foundry because of the inconveniences and expenses of transportation or other such items.
It is almost a mandate directly from the law of nature itself that the highest quality foundries can charge more and come with a long line of waiting customers.