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to see the Zoo Entrance Sign




If you would prefer to watch a PowerPoint presentation of the evolution of the statue....



Making the model for the mold: November 2014:


The basic outline is made using Styrofoam which will then be covered with clay for detail mock up.  Styrofoam is used to minimize the cost of the amount of clay required.


Welded "stick man" Mark forming Styrofoam leg Legs laid out

Side view of Styrofoam mock up Front view Back view


December, 2014:


Plaster going on, front view Side view Starting to take shape
Cosmo Location Cosmo formed Sculptor progressing nicely


January, 2015


                 Mark putting some final touches on the model:  (does give a perspective of the size of the statue)



February, 2015


Sculptor getting close and a close-up of Cosmo-Topper

Mark and Chuck (1st rub of Cosmo's nose)

with the FINAL clay Sculptor

We are now ready for Bronze Casting Process

Charles is pleased with the excellent job Mark has done!!




Ten miniature statues have been made for display purposes and will be offered for sale


Bronze pour of Miniatures

Clean up of a miniature casting

First Miniature Mounted on Granite

Statue measures about 8 " tall

Bob Kelley and Mark Greenaway with the first miniature statue



Foundry Workup:



The final bronze statue will be made at Genesis Bronze which is located in Paso Robles on Dry Creek Road near the Warbirds Museum.  Their artists/craftsmen will convert the clay sculpture that Mark made to the final product.


And lets follow their progress:



Their website:




The fence post with the lizard on it is ret angular and has been parted onto 2 halves...the top half with the lizard is above the parting plane (the brown edging with the holes in it) supported by 4 sections of clay (the blue supports) ...with the lower half out of view inside the blue supports.


The fence rail to the left is likewise parted at the center, half above the parting plane and half below.


Rubber will be applied to assume the shape of the sculpture and then covered with fiberglass and let harden. This will enable the bronze to be poured and form half the post/rail.  The other half will then be done in a similar fashion and ultimately the 2 halves will be welded and polished for the finished post/rail.




Scroll down to the Foundry Process section for more details on the actual process.



The arm and head need to be removed for separate handling of the rubber/fiberglass/wax/ceramic process due to their unique shape:


             April 1, 2015

Alan determining where the arm needs to come off, with Mark looking on Alan sawing the arm off
Mark giving himself a hand (arm!) Alan setting up the wire to sever the head off





Alan and Mark working the wire to sever the head Chuck still has a smile, as does Mark


The rest of the body will be parted using metal shims to mark the "center line".  After the shims are finished each half will be covered with a rubber coating.


Alan starting the shimming process at the feet



One side completed Body shimmed Side view



First coat of rubber has been applied & will capture the detail of the sculptor.  Alan mixing 2nd batch of rubber-color different to aid in proper application Alan brushing on the second coat. Several coats of rubber will be applied 2nd coat complete


April 16, 2015


First detail rubber coat on the front of the are the shims First coat on the arm Fence post with rubber applied..lizard is peeking up at the top of the post



April 22, 2015


Dusty putting a coat of vaseline on prior to plaster coats. Top half of the front of the statue with the Gypsum/Fiberglass applied.  Alan working in the background.



April 24, 2015


The face has been covered with the Gypsum/Fiberlass coating and the shims (cards) separated the coating into 2 sections.  After drying, these sections were taken apart and the clay sculpture removed. The plaster sections are lined up and held in place with some bolts on the shim line.  This leaves the rubber representing the sculpture hollow inside, and supported by the Gypsum..


Hot wax is slowly poured into the opening at the base of the head, rotated gently until it coats the rubber.  Several coats of wax are applied to the desired thickness.

All rubber coats on the head, plaster is beginning to be applied    





After the wax has been poured and hardened, the Gypsum is taken off the rubber Then Dottie removes the rubber from the wax.  The dark brown face is the wax



This shot shows the wax face, which is hollow, compared to rubber coating which had picked up features of Mark's clay sculpture.. note the detail evident on the rubber which was picked up by the wax.


The next step will be to coat the inside and outside of the wax face with a ceramic coating. More to come on this process later.


The ceramic and wax will be placed in an oven and the wax melted out...leaving a gap where the wax was.  This gap will then be filled with liquid bronze to form the head. When cooled the ceramic will be chipped off the bronze and discarded. The bronze will be the thickness of the wax mold.  Later steps will include welding the bronze head to the bronze body (yet to come) and a lot of fine detail hand finishing.



The arm has been formed in a similar fashion.  This view shows the wax arm resting on the rubber mold supported by the Gypsum.  Note the watch imprint on the rubber.



April 30, 2015


Body is laid horizontal, Alan removing Gypsum from top/back of the clay statue Gypsum/Fiberglass support removed.  Rubber coating still attached to the clay statue



Rubber is removed from the clay statue Rubber is refitted into the Gypsum support.  This is the back half of the statue top.  Note the light colored nodules around the rim. This shows the still installed front half of the upper body. The separation was at the shim line and the obvious depressions will later be mated with the nodules on the back half to retain alignment of the halves when they are mated



Gypsum on the back half of the legs coming off

Leg rubber being removed (it is flexible and does

retain shape when laid into the Gypsum cover)



Keith & Alan removing top/front of Gypsum,

followed by removing the rubber

Top half of statue fit together and aligned.  Gypsum supporting the rubber molds.  Next step is the waxing.



June 1, 2015: Waxing the legs


Gypsum leg halves have been attached Alan taking wax from the vat - wax was heated by the hot-air blower shown pointing at the vat Top part of Gypsum mold with hand application of wax
Hot wax being poured inside the Gypsum mold Mold is rotated to distribute the wax Inside after 2 applications of wax.  First application is the most important as it picks up the features of the inside of the Gypsum mold.  Subsequent applications are to get a suitable thickness of wax (and final thickness of Bronze)


June 8, 2015


This is a wax of the front chest with Cosmo showing the rectangular connectors..these are also wax and attached to the chest with hot wax.  All will be dipped in the ceramic coat (coming photos) to provide a path for the liquid bronze to flow to the main feature (the chest in this case).

Completed wax molds with the attach structures for liquid bronze flow.

  Front chest, head, and left arm.

Dusty applying a pre-coat of silicia compound to make sure the critical features are sufficiently covered.  The first coat is key to pick up all the details from the wax.



The pre-coated head is to be dipped into the vat of "Primecoat", which is a silicia compound which makes a "ceramic" coat when sand it spread on it (to come....) The head and the feeder lines are completly dipped



Sand is poured on the outside and inside of the head...the sand adhering to the "Primecote" silicia compound The first application of the "ceramic" is completed...Dusty is pleased as all of the wax features have been replicated.  This is allowed to dry for about 1/2 hour prior to the next coat. This is after the second coat.  A total of ~12 coats will be applied to get the proper thickness of ceramic.  THEN the wax will be melted (from the head and the feeder lines) and the remaining ceramic mold (remember it will be the thickness of the wax) will be filled with the hot liquid bronze.


June 11, 2015


The statue parts are all being ceramic coated.  These parts have 9 coats with several more to be applied.  The next step will be pouring the liquid bronze.



   June 18, 2015  Pouring of the Bronze


Keith with some of the parts which have been ceramic coated - ready to have the wax melted The outside oven, set at ~1,100 degrees to melt the wax from the inside of the ceramic (the Lost Wax process)  - wax collected in the pans on the lower right Parts inside the outside oven are preheated before having the bronze poured
Parts coming out of the outside oven The Bronze furnace (@~1,800 degrees) - note the bronze ingots to the left and melting pots to the right Four parts being poured today, the head, arm, and 2 feet. Melted Bronze coming out of the furnace



Bronze being poured into the head Bronze into the arm


Head filled with Bronze.  Remember the inside of the head also has ceramic so the Bronze only fills the volume vacated by the wax Keith bringing the parts outside to cool

Parts partially cooled,

ceramic being helped off

Head partially exposed with some of the ceramic removed Head with the Bronze flow passages attached (and of course Bronzed) Keith taking off the flow passages/supports with a torch
Inside ceramic being removed Sandblasting of the head THE FINAL BRONZE HEAD




Mark's Original Clay Face Bronze cast Face


All after: Clay to rubber to Gypsum/Fiberglass to Wax to Ceramic to Bronze


June 24/25, 2015


All body parts have been cast in bronze


Body parts spot welded less the head and left arm.  Bronze thickness will average ~3/16" Close-up of upper torso spot welded Mark looking on
Alan welding the head Alan grinding the welds to smooth them out Welded view from the back



June 29, 2015


After hand grinding the welds, the weld seams are not obvious Etch coat applied to bring out details for final touch-ups


Alan & Mark reviewing layout for the gate ("boards" are Bronze) Setup for the gate, prior to final welding Charles leaving the gate with Cosmo



June 30, 2015


Genesis Bronze crew and Mark at the zoo to mark the location for the final installation Shoe prints are shown on the cardboard
Artist Mark drilling 3 holes in the concrete Bolts will be threaded into the brackets on the feet and placed in the drilled holes (filled with a strong epoxy) at final installation

Statue was taken to be sand blasted after it left the zoo.  Now being unloaded at the foundry.

Looking good after the sand blast



July 1, 2015


C-22 base coat has been applied.  Alphonso is now spraying the Patina Alan giving a hot blast in-between coats of Patina...opens the pores of the metal to accept the Patina more deeply

Statue after the Patina coats

(~2 hours of coating)

Next comes the final wax coat.  Alphonso is starting the application...note the difference in coloring Mark, John (owner of Genesis Bronze) watch Alphonso and Jake apply the wax Even the Boss chips in





July 2, 2015: Reception


     A sneak preview of the statue was given to some of the donors at the new Marriott SpringHill Suites in Atascadero.  The Marriott was gracious to provide the room and some excellent food at no cost. 


Genesis Bronze delivered the completed statue to the Marriott

Marketing Director Mike with Chef Tony (great food!!)

Our sincere thanks to the Marriott

Very nice layout of the room.  Screen is for a continuing PowerPoint presentation on the evolution of the statue. Guests arriving in the foyer
Some of the guests

Mark introducing the Genesis Bronze Team:

L to R: John, Alan, Keith, Jake, Dusty, and Dottie



Chuck was the MC for the evening



July 3, 2015: Installation


Studs in shoes and post (statue was transported via the pickup) Taking the statue off the pickup near the mounting location Shows studs near the holes they will be inserted into.  Holes will be filled with a fast setting strong epoxy and the statue will be placed in the holes --very permanently.



Genesis Bronze Crew after installation is complete. 

L to R: Keith, John, Alphonso, Alan, and Jake. 

Dusty and Dottie are MIA but always remembered.



The dedication of the Statue at the Zoo was on July 4, 2015 at 2:00 pm




Foundry Process - In Words


The obvious first step was to have Mark create the clay sculpture, the "rest of the story" is sort of like this:


The foundry will cut off the arm and make a separate mold. Then separate the rest of the sculpture into segments using shims . Each segment (or panel) will be around 16 x 20 inches and there will be about 12 of them.

Once panels are shimmed they will apply a fast setting rubber that when dried retains the shape and detail of the original sculpture.  After 5 layers of rubber a layer of Gypsum with fiberglass is applied and left to dry to support the rubber mold.

When the production mold is pulled apart the original clay copy is removed and the rubber surface (supported by the Gypsum/Fiberglass coating) is lined with wax to a desired thickness.  When the wax cools the wax copy is pulled from mold (the fiberglass and rubber is removed). The wax copy then has feeder wax tubes welded (hot wax weld) to the wax sculpture piece.

The piece is now ready to be dipped into a 50 gallon vat of a liquid ceramic mixture. This mixture when dried will pick up all the details of the wax copy.

They will layer the dipped copy with silica sand to about 3/16" thick. When the ceramic is dried the entire structure goes into a 1000 degree furnace that will melt all the wax (the "lost wax" process).

Now you have a shape inside the ceramic cavity that is exactly the shape and detail of the original clay sculpture.  Bronze is heated to 2000 degrees and the molten metal is poured into the mouth of the ceramic receptacle.

When the bronze cools the ceramic is broken off and the piece is now bronze with a thickness of the wax. The foundry takes all the bronze cast pieces and welds the sculpture back together. All the welded seam lines are resurfaced (by hand) to look like the original.

The next steps are sandblasting the entire piece, then heating, and applying chemicals to the surface of the bronze to patina (color) it. The last step is to wax it.

The statue will be mounted to the concrete patio using ¾” bolts through the feet and one 4x4 post.  The bolts will be epoxied into the cement surface.







Mark Greenaway's Sketch

THESTEELXBURT company's fabrication of the steel framing
as of February 26, 2016


Powder Coating donated by:



Located on Sycamore Street in here for their website



Brian with the backside of the sign after sandblasting

Jerid applying powder primer

Jerid applying the color coat powder

Backside powder coated



May 31, 2016 Sign Installation by the Committee


Sign Arrived

Took 5 guys to stand it up

Mark & Burt Johnson with the sign

Close up with Mark

Forklift (provided by the city) lifting, Burt driving

Setting the sign, Dale Bywater & Chuck on the ladders

Chuck showing the supports added for stability. Our many thanks to Mike Smith (Smith Engineering) for his donation of engineering work.

Dale lining up with the existing support beams

Charles looking over the progress

The Installation Crew

Greg Bunton (helped dig holes), Dale Bywater, Jimmy Quinonez (helped pour concrete), Burt Johnson (metal fabricator), Mike (steel supplier), Chris and Israel ( city park employees), Logan Sprouse (summer help at Zoo). Plus a few others