Video: Lost Wax Brass Casting, Benin City, 2003, 2006

Brass Casters (Igun Eronmwon)

The copper alloys of brass and bronze were highly valued within the Benin Kingdom long before Portuguese contact. Reflecting this prominence, the brass casters are the highest-ranking guild of visual artists in Benin's palace societies. Casters use the lost-wax method, in which a precisely detailed wax model is formed over a clay core. When the model is complete, clay is carefully applied over the wax. It is then heated, melting the wax, which exits from a narrow channel. Next, the molten metal is poured into the mold. Once cool, the hardened clay is chipped away, leaving behind the image, now cast in brass.

© 2007 Kunsthistorisches Museum mit MVK und ÖTM
Wissenschaftliche Anstalt öffentlichen Rechts
Burgring 5, 1010 Wien, Austria
Camera: Agbonifo Osemweri, Barbara Plankensteiner