Matthew Placzek’s bronze sculptures are first created in clay, and then cast in bronze using a 2,000-year-old lost wax process. The sculptures focus on expression, movement and form. Audiences can easily relate to the subject matter featured in the works. He specializes in the human expression, whether in a public monument or a bust cast in bronze.
Some of the most popular of Matthew’s sculptures have become monuments for universities, hospitals, historical landmarks, and monuments to historical figures. Some of the figures (depending on scale and intricacy of the piece) may take months to complete from the conceptual process to completion and installation. It is critical that every detail be correct in each sculpture. There is no such thing as “cutting corners” when you are working with bronze cast sculptures. In many cases, Matthew’s bronze figures are cast to be the likeness of a historical figure. This leaves no room for error. It is important to know the bronzing process inside and out. This insures that the later steps are kept in mind during the design and execution of the earlier stages of each sculpture.
Many of Matthew’s custom monumental sculptures are created through the art of bronze casting. Each sculpture begins as a figure molded out of oil-based clay, a pliant material which gives the artist ample opportunities to make alterations. (To give some perspective about the amount of clay needed for a project, a seven-foot figure calls for around 50 pounds of clay.) For large monumental sculptures that need additional base support — for example, human figures in motion — a skeletal base, called an armature, is fashioned out of steel and foam, with the clay applied on top. To find out more about the bronzing process, check out our blog post on the bronzing casting technique.