Bronze Casting

Craftsman carving details into a wax figure of Shiva.
Details are added to the wax image with a wooden chisel. Photo: Neil Greentree

Shiva statue being cold chiseled
Cold chiseling. Photo: Neil Greentree

Every bronze in a south Indian temple is unique. Each is created using the lost-wax (cire perdue) process, in which molten metal is poured into a hand-fashioned clay mold that is later broken apart to yield the final work of art.

These photographs document contemporary sculptors and bronze casters at a south Indian bronze workshop in Swamimalai, Tamil Nadu, which adjoins the temple town of Kumbakonam. These artists still employ the process used in the Chola period.

Next: Contemporary Connections