This summer the Council of Industry got the exciting opportunity to tour the facility of our member firm, Polich Tallix, a Fine Art Foundry located in Walden, NY. Polich Tallix works with artists from around the world and strives to become their “source for all objects cast or fabricated in metal.” They work closely with these artists to help make their projects and ideas a reality. This can include enlarging, mold making, engineering, repairing, and restoring their art work.
The tour of Polich Tallix was both informative and visually captivating. We were fortunate enough to tour the foundry’s new facility that was filled with impressive artwork, and we were taken through the steps of their detailed casting process. Polich Tallix uses three methods of casting: fabrication, sand casting and lost wax casting. Polich Tallix is one of the few facilities to utilize the lost wax casting method. We were walked through the detailed steps of this process, which allowed us to see firsthand the vast amount of work that goes into the creation of these art structures.
Polich Tallix has anywhere from 90 to 110 projects being worked on at any time, and these sometimes-massive projects can be found in locations all over the world. Polich Tallix, most recognized for their creation of the Oscar statuette each year, works on many incredible pieces of art throughout the year. Recently, they helped artist and cultural icon Douglas Coupland on a monumental bronze sculpture of Vincent van Gogh. The sculpture was being created for Anthony von Mandl, winery proprietor for Martin’s Lane Winery in Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada.
The idea, “was born out of the realization that Pinot Noir grapes are the result of natural mutations in Burgundy’s vineyards over centuries, and red hair is a genetic mutation in humans and both represent only 2% of their respective populations.” A perfect fit for this Pinot Noir vineyard. The project began with a high-resolution 3D file, and then a pattern was milled in dense foam using a CNC machine. The foam was then rubber molded and waxes were made and cast by way of a ceramic shell with silicon bronze. The castings were then assembled, welded and chased into the finished bronze sculpture.
Today the sculpture of Vincent is positioned on its side in Martin’s Lane Winery in the Okanagan Valley of Canada. This type of monumental and beautiful sculpture is constantly passing through the doors of Polich Tallix, and we look forward to seeing what exciting projects our members will be working on in the future!
You can find the full article on Polich Tallix’s “Project Redhead” here.