Metal statue artwork is one of the most advanced and appreciated art in Nepal. Metal statue art in Nepal dates back to the 7th century AD. Kathmandu Valley’s prosperity in many ways links to its early mastery over metal. The Tamrakar, Shakya, and Swarnakars of Nepal, used the unique lost wax metal sculpting process early on to make beautiful metal sculptures. They also had the technology to attain heat levels that could melt gold: this earned them great fame and money in the Himalayan region, particularly in Tibet. Bronze was initially used to make most statues but copper has replaced it in terms of popular use among artisans.
Sculpting a metal statue is a lengthy procedure that requires great skill. A large piece of metal statue art can take up to six months to create and several people need to work on it. Crafting the work by hand is a sometimes exhausting and time-consuming process that does not allow for large quantity art production. The local sculptors make statues of Hindu and Buddhist deities. They work with brass and bronze as well and produce traditional jars and plates as well as pieces that are commonly used in ceremonial events. The raw materials for metal statues; copper, brass, and bronze are imported from Malaysia, United Arabian Emirates, and other countries. Some raw materials are processed in Japan or Taiwan.
How are the metal statues made?
The metal statues are made in a lost wax process, so the quality of the statue is very high and unique. We have to mould every statue in the wax and is covered by clay several times. As soon as it’s dried completely, we heat the mould and take the wax out. 25% wax melts out and 75% is burnt inside, then we pour the liquid metal into it. We break the mould after making it cool, then we get the metal statue. We have to repeat this whole process just to make a single statue. We finish the metal statue and carve it. Later, we put on gold and paint the face with gold dust. The whole process takes about 2 to 3 months.
Check out our handpicked statues of Hindu as well as Buddhist deities.