Custom Sculpture Awards
Custom sculpture awards are probably the most traditional and popular form of custom award that we create. Sculpture awards, as their name implies, are based on a hand-sculpted model that serves as the “master” model for the production of the awards. This model is usually sculpted from clay or wax. Once the model is created, a mold is made from it, and then this mold serves as the “reusable” starting point for the casting of each individual award. The steps involved to cast sculpture awards vary depending on the material used for the awards. More information on the sculpture award production process can be found at: Sculpture Production Process.
Custom Sculpture Awards: Detailed Information
One of the advantages of custom sculpture awards is that there are very few limitations regarding the award design. The possible shapes and sizes of the sculpture awards we can create are almost endless – we have produced sculptures as small as a few inches high, all the way through monumental sculptures over 30 feet tall (including, for example, the monumental sculptures outside the Sacramento King’s original arena).
Artistry and Individuality
Another advantage of custom sculpture awards is the organic, unique nature of each award that is produced. In a day and age where so many things are produced using automated machinery, many of our clients embrace the fact that our sculpture awards are true works of art handcrafted by an artist. This hand-sculpting imbues a true “personality”, essence, and feeling in the award design that is impossible to create using more automated methods.
Once the artist hand-sculpts the model, the casting process used to create each individual award is the same basic process that has been used for thousands of years – since the bronze age, in fact. Each sculpture award is, in some way or another, unique and different from any other award based on the same model – each has its own distinct flavor. Minor variations and imperfections actually add to the unique nature of each sculpture, and are one of the things that make this type of custom award truly special.
Once the original model and mold are created, any number of individual awards can be produced using the model, ranging from quantity one all the way through thousands of sculptures. Model and mold costs only need to be incurred once (one-time fees) – following this, any number of individual awards can be produced at any time interval (annually, for example), and only the production cost of each individual award needs to be borne.
Material and Finish Variation
As outlined below, the type of material chosen to produce the sculpture, and the finish applied to that material, can dramatically alter the final look of the award. This flexibility lends itself to “calculated variation” for a given award design. For example, a pewter sculpture award design could be plated in gold for “first place” recipients, silver for “second place” recipients, and bronze for “third place” recipients.
Given their handcrafted nature, combined with their multi-stage model, mold and casting production process, sculpture awards tend to be more expensive than other forms of custom awards (crystal or medallions, for example). However, by carefully managing design complexity and material selection, these costs can be managed.
Again, given all of the individual steps required to create custom sculpture awards, the time required to generate and produce a new design is longer than other forms of custom awards. This lead-time can vary based on a number of variables, however, and we will be happy to work with you to come up with an accurate estimate of how long your specific custom sculpture award project would take.
Material Options for Custom Sculpture Awards
Most of our sculpture awards are created using one of three alternative types of material: bronze, pewter (both metal options) or resin. Each of these is briefly described below. A more detailed analysis of the alternative metal choices (bronze versus pewter) can be found at: Metal Choices for Custom Sculpture Awards.
Bronze Sculpture Awards
Bronze is a heavier, harder metal than pewter, so it tends to be more durable than pewter. The weight of the metal, and its ability to support grinding and buffing, also makes it a better choice for designs featuring hard, sharp edges and precise geometric shapes. Bronze can also be polished to such a degree that it can feature a deeper. more “luscious” shine that that available with the other materials. These features do come at a cost, however – bronze sculpture awards are our most expensive custom sculpture award option, and take longer to produce than either pewter or resin awards.
Bronze sculpture awards feature a number of options for the final finish that is applied to their surface. Bronze can be polished until it is shiny and golden, or colored using a patina, which can create a broad spectrum of colors and patterns on the surface of the awards.
Pewter Sculpture Awards
Pewter is softer, lighter metal than bronze. As such, it melts at lower temperatures, and requires fewer steps in the casting process. This results in a lower per-unit production cost than that of bronze sculpture awards. It also means that the time required to create and produce a new custom pewter award design (from start to finish) is shorter than the lead-time required for a new bronze award. The soft nature of the metal, however, makes it best suited to “organic” designs that don’t require total precision and uniformity in their geometric shapes (lines, edges and planes).
Like bronze awards, pewter sculpture awards also feature a variety of finish options. Pewter sculptures can be buffed in their natural pewter color to achieve a brushed, satiny pewter finish; plated in gold, silver or bronze; or painted or powder-coated in an endless variety of colors.
Resin Sculpture Awards
Resin is a lower-cost alternative than bronze or pewter sculpture awards. Resin is a mixture of materials, including urethane, silicone, epoxy and polyester. Some of the advantages of resin include its affordability, light weight, and ability to support a wide variety of finishes. In particular, resin is well-suited for the application of a variety of paints. The primary disadvantage of resin sculptures is that they are less durable than metal-based sculptures. As such, they may not be the ideal choice for custom awards that are going to be exposed to a lot of wear-and-tear or outside weather conditions.
As noted above, resin is an excellent choice for custom sculptures that require unique painting or surface finishes. Resin sculpture awards can be painted in a wide variety of colors and textures using acrylic paint, enamel paint, or powder coating (logo colors, for example). Resin also supports metallic paints that can create the effect of virtually any metal, including bronze or pewter.