Bush Bronzes

Creating a bronze is a time consuming process from the carving to the casting but one that is very rewarding when I see the happy recipients with them.

Jaye Hall's Bush Bronzes story
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Eddie Hackman sculpting Warrenbri Romeo
Photo courtesy of Warrenbri Stud. Eddie Hackman sculpting Warrenbri Romeo with Romeo in the background.

I was born and raised on a station in outback Queensland and always appreciated the natural beauty of the horses and cattle that surrounded me. Learning the art of bronze sculptures enables me to create a vision that combines the life of horses and cattle and of the station work that I love into a lasting monument that celebrates all things important to me.As a child I always loved the look and feel of bronze. It promotes a feeling of the old and the authentic, so when a chance meeting with Eddie Hackman’s daughter happened during my teens, I was inspired to this form of art. She suggested I write to Eddie to explore the possibility of learning his craft. So a couple of years later I did write to Eddie and his enthusiasm was infectious.

Jaye working on one of her handmade creations.
Jaye working on one of her handmade creations.

In 1995, I had a month with Eddie working in his factory outside Rockhampton in exchange for learning about the bronze sculpture process. Eddie was meticulous about attention to detail and this is evident in making the creations so life like. Early in my training he encouraged me to draw the subject piece by piece before attempting the sculpture to increase my attention to detail. I would draw the eye of the horse and then I would draw a hock etc. This was a major part of recreating the individuality of the pieces as it taught me how much detail was required to achieve reality.

[Read more about Eddie in an article entitled The Master of Bronze. Written by Sue Neales, Outback Magazine.]

Bronze Casting Process
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The whole bronze casting process takes up to a month after I have finished carving the wax sculpture. It involves a series of steps and as time is a problem for me I have a great friend who takes my carved wax sculpture and makes a mould of it and casts it into bronze.

Creating Original Wax Sculpture

I create the sculpture from wax into exactly the piece I want using a soldering gun and various other carving tools. I then send it, well padded, down to Chris Gavins in Toowoomba. Chris operates a bronze casting business specialising in native animals and wildlife.

Creating the rubber moulds

Chris makes a rubber mould of the sculpture so that we can have multiples and change bits around on the sculpture in future if we want.

Making the Waxes

The mould is used to create a wax copy of the original sculpture. The wax is cleaned and assembled to create the new sculpture. The waxes are then assembled on a “tree” in preparation for casting.

Although moulds are used every sculpture is created from scratch and is therefore unique.

Tools of the Trade

Casting

A ceramic shell mould with an outlet is then made of the wax original.  The wax is then melted out and bronze poured into the vacant shell at1100 degrees C, the molten bronze is poured into the concrete mould.  This step is covered over a week and once finished, the concrete mould is smashed off and the bronze piece underneath is sandblasted to get rid of any leftover residue.

Finishing touches

Once cleaned and assembled, the sculpture is treated to give it a patina (the colour) and then buffed to highlight particular areas of the bronze.  A nice wood base from natural timber that my friend, Carmel Williams at Camooweal provides for me, completes the article.

The Bronzes
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I do try to keep stock on hand at all times, but because of the time required to create new sculptures and special orders it is a continual challenge to produce new designs. Each year I endeavour to add a couple of different bronzes so that all trophies remain special to the recipients.

Over the years, I havenot only provided bronzes for competitions such as Paradise Lagoons, Warwick Show and Rodeo, Camboon, The Cloncurry Stockmans Challenge, Saxby Roundup, Pussy Cat Bore, Normanton,  Bollon, Dirrinbandi, Brunette, Julia Creek, Beef Australia, World Brahman Congress, Perth Royal Show and the Brisbane Ekka but also for private affairs such as anniversaries, weddings, birthdays and even graves.

It is a special honour for me to be able to continue to bring the “Eddie Hackman” style of bronzes to the people involved in the outback, and the horse and cattle industries.

The First

My first bronze was of Rio, and I gave it to Mum and Dad. It still holds pride of place at Caiwarra and proudly I can say you can easily recognise that it is of Rio (mum and dad’s stallion).

Most unusual

The most unusuaI bronze I have produced, so far, is a chopper which was crafted for a special order.

Most demanding

The most demanding was of a cutting horse, specially ordered by Clive Kirkby.

Bush Bronzes Gallery
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Contact

Enquiries & Orders contact: Jaye Hall

Bibil Station
Muttaburra  QLD  4732
Phone (07) 4658 5641
Email: bjmw.hall@activ8.net.au

Ben & Jaye Hall


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