Brief History of Bronze Casting

The great day of metal casters came with the revival of devotion to Hindu gods Shiva and Vishnu, which reached a peak in the south under the ninth-century Chola dynasty. People wanted images of the Gods that could be carried in procession for which thestone images in the temples were too heavy, they wanted images to worship in private homes and give to existing shrines they made Bronze figures.

The different styles. of Traditional South Indian Bronze are Chola, Pallava, Hoysala, Vijayanagara, Chera...

Traditional process for Bronze Casting

The process adopted is “Madhuchishtavidhana“ or the lost-wax process (cire perdue) and all images required for worship are cast in solid methods known as Ghana as described in the Shilpasastra in the treatise “Manasara“. The figure is first fashioned in the hard wax and then covered with successive layers of clay till a thick solid coat is obtained. The entire clay is then heated in an oven so that the wax drains out in a liquid form.Into the hollow space thus created the molten metal is poured. After allowing it to cool, the outer shell is broken and the metal image taken out. Then chasing, chiseling and polishing done. While making larger models a central core of higher material was often used while preparing wax model. This remained in metal image helping reduction in weight. Each piece was cast individually and there was no question mass production.