Bronze is an alloy metal that is made from a mixture of copper and tin. Copper is the main element with tin being added in varying amounts depending on the need for the metal. It is often used as a metal for making sculptures much like the Bronze Horse Sculpture that you can see at http://www.gillparker.com/
There are many reasons why sculptors may choose to work with Bronze and one of them may simply be personal preference. Here are two of the top reasons why Bronze is such a popular metal:
The beauty is the detail
Bronze is one metal that can be worked into incredibly fine detail. It has a lower melting point that other metals such as iron or steel and so delicate designs can be created into the metal before it then hardens (which happened very quickly) and then the design is preserved in the metal forever. Bronze also expands slightly when it melts which makes it perfect for pouring into moulds as it fills the mould exactly before it then cools and hardens, allowing the sculptor to take away the mould to reveal the final product. Bronze is also pliable for longer meaning that it can be bent and twisted into a variety of shapes ad then set to create the chosen design.
Keeping your sculpture clean
Bronze is a metal that is susceptible to oxidisation but usually only on the outer layers. This is what gives some old sculptures their slight green hue. For some artists this is the main reason that they pick this metal to work with. The green colour adds a patina of age and it also provides a protective layer over the rest of the Bronze sculptures. If the aged look is not what you want, and you would rather have the bright vibrant colour of the Bronze metal shining through then there are a number of ways that you can clean off this oxidisation product. One of the simplest ways is to use a standard dishwashing soap that is unscented to wash off the dust and rust particles from the sculpture. Once you have removed all of the offending rust it is then important to wax your item with an appropriate wax that you can buy from most good hardware or even hobby stores.
Whatever the reason for artists choosing this metal type what we can all agree on is the beauty of these sculptures and they truly do stand the test of time.