Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Taking a Tree Trunk from Porous to Polished

At Stutzman Plating, we often get unusual art projects that sculptors want us to plate for them.  You'll see some of these fine art pieces on our Facebook or Instagram pages, or perhaps you will follow us on Pinterest.

In this instance we were asked to nickel plate a tree trunk sculpture that was to become a custom table base.

This tree trunk sculpture was cast out of solid bronze. The casting was extremely heavy, weighing over 200 pounds and required special set up. Of course, that's no problem for us at Stutzman.

The client, a renowned designer here in Los Angeles, wanted the trunk to be plated in a highly reflective mirror polished nickel. The bronze casting was porous, a common occurrence with castings of this size, creating pockets within the trunk's structure.  The porosity of the bronze trapped the plating solution within the casting and resulted in bubbles surfacing to the top which disturbed the plating. We had to come up with a solution to make sure the finished nickel plating was polished and smooth like liquid mercury. 

The solution was to fill these porous areas with copper and replated the sculpture surface to achieve a perfect mirror finish of polished nickel plating.

And as you can see, the results are fantastic!  An art object that's useful, and definitely a conversation starter.... 

Contact us to learn more on how Stutzman Plating can take your project to the next level.