Client: Tom Sachs
Location: Queens, NY, United States
Completion date: 2016
Original bonsai tree made of cardboard, toothbrushes, tampons, cotton swabs, etc. Made several molds of individual pieces. R&D effectiveness of casting thin to thick pieces (Q-tips). The final product was a full bronze sculpture that includes over 500 cast pieces.
Capturing detail in material (cardboard texture, lettering, cotton fluff, toothbrush bristles, etc.) Solutions were buying similar product materials that can be burnt out. The porous materials were dipped in a thin layer of wax.
Received original and made any repairs and adjustments. We had to then photograph every angle and start to disassemble the piece for molds. We R&D'd the best way to gate the waxes of smaller parts to retain detail and have a high success rate of being poured without pitting and cold pouring. Unlike the typical production of bronzes, we were creating a lot of the specifics such as the Q-tip groupings acting as the artists, using our judgement to closely translate the feeling of the original piece and then applying them to the main branches that were to the specification of the original. One of the challenges was to make sure all the text and "printed" elements would transfer over to bronze. For instance, the tubing that was used for the main branches we unravelled to lay flat. Scanned it. And created a 3d model of the tubing with recessed lettering that created a nice, legible contrast when the patina was applied. A lot of different elements were used to accomplish this piece and we are lucky enough to have artisans that excel in their departments.
For more info on the project visit our website: https://bollingeratelier.com/portfolio-tom-sachs/