As this book is primarily directed to the sculpting procedure, I feel
it's necessary to explain the further steps involved in completing
the memorial. With this information, the reader will understand the
total effort in raising the Longstreet tribute.
The final sculpting now being complete:
- The clay is completely covered with a 1- inch thick layer rubber.
The rubber is applied by hand. First in a very liquid state, thicker,
more substantial form is added with trawls. The rubber skin is
then sectioned by forming raised fences. Once the rubber has matured,
the sections are cut and a thick layer of plaster is applied.
Between each section, a fence of aluminum shim stock, in the cut
line, is used to sepa-rate the mold units
- Once the plaster has matured, each mold section is pulled off
the clay and taken to the wax room. Wax is heated to a liquid
state and painted into the rubber mold until it reaches a thickness
of approximately one--quarter inch. Upon the wax cooling and becoming
stable, it is pulled from the mold. Each wax is then retouched
or checked by the sculptor for im-perfections or corrections.
After the sculptor has finished his task, the wax is gated with
wax rods to form an inlet and air release avenue in the ceramic
- The gated waxes are taken to the shell room and dipped into
a liquid ceramic, and then covered with dry-powder ceramic material.
This procedure is repeated several times until the shell reaches
a thick-ness of approximately 1-inch, after which the shell is
left to dry com-pletely.
- After the shell is sufficiently dry, the shell is taken to the
casting area of the foundry and burned out. In other words, the
wax is melted out of the ceramic shell. With the wax now out of
the shell, molten bronze, at approximately 1200 degrees, is introduced
into the inlet formed by the previously burned-out wax rods. The
bronze section, now cast, is left to cool in the shell.
- The ceramic shell is removed by whatever means is necessary
to crack the crust and dislodge the bronze. This task could entail
hammer and chisel, pry bar, bead blasting, etc. The metal gating
is then removed by grinding or hacksaw.
- Each section of bronze is closely in-spected for imperfections,
then corrected by metal chasing, if required. The surface of the
edges of the castings are prepared and the sections welded together.
(In the case of the Longstreet Memorial, a separate metal frame
was simultaneously constructed and attached to the skin, or sections.)
This frame work is added for additional strength in the attaching
of the work to the concrete foundation.
- With the entire Memorial welded together, the welds are chased
and all the sculptor's marks replicated. The previous welding
lines now invisible, the Memorial is inspected by the sculptor
for any im-perfections or corrections to match the original final
- The Memorial is cleaned and given a uniform coloration. Heat
is applied by a gas torch, and an acid bath is spread on the surface,
by brush, to add color to the metal. In the case of Longstreet,
the initial color is a basic dark leather brown with highlights
of vertigre, or green, washed into the re-cesses. After the entire
bronze is patinaed, or colored, it is heated by torch again, and
wax is applied by brushing over every inch of the Memorial, just
as the patina. The wax is the only pro-tective measure used against
- The Memorial is now delivered to the dedication site and unloaded
by crane onto the previously installed concrete base or foundation.
This foundation con-tains three openings into which
corresponding rods, protruding from the horse hooves, will fit.
Any space left between the rods and the openings in the concrete
foundation, will be filled with grout. The Memorial is complete.
As Mr. Paul Harvey says, "And now you know the rest of the
The cumulative time of designing, sculpting, casting and erecting
the Longstreet Memorial was nearly one year. The Memorial was almost
entirely crafted by hand. The magnitude of artistic endeavor in
this project is certainly a tribute to the manual abilities of man.