Ancient Art Process Alive at Stravitz Gallery

701 Hand of Fate

Bronze Sculpture “Hand of Fate” by Richard Stravitz
Written by Richard Stravitz

Three dimensional objects were the first things created by man and some animals. These objects were made from natural resources such as objects of wood and stone.  They were made into the tools of survival, weapons to hunt with; weapons to protect; objects to cultivate the soil. The struggle for survival left little time for anything else by day but the nights were long and when story telling was exhausted, boredom and fear of the unknown and the mystery of life entered the mind of prehistoric man. The idea of multiple gods came into being, with the god of fertility, god of war, etc. being examples of those gods.

Talismans or objects that were believed to contain magical or sacramental properties were highly prized. They were to be the embodiment of the gods that were created. There was a need for these Talismans to be seen, felt, handled and ultimately worshipped. An unusual stone crafted by nature or shaped by early man may have been the first Talisman and perhaps the first sculpture man created. As time passed, softer stones such as sand stone and later marble began to be sculpted into better and more realistic human forms.

Copper and tin had been known for some time when around 3700 BC someone came up with the concept of mixing molten copper with moltin tin. This created Bronze which was substantially stronger than either tin or copper alone. This was the beginning of the Bronze Age and a major leap forward in the creation of sculpture.

Around 1750 BC the process of “Lost Wax” sculpture was discovered. The artist would make his sculpture using bees wax. The bees wax sculpture was then wrapped in clay. A kiln was used to fire the clay and in the process also melted the wax out from what was the clay and is now a ceramic mold. This ceramic mold would then be filled with molten bronze. Upon cooling, the ceramic coating is chipped off the now bronze sculpture that was within. Even with all the technological improvements this is still the way true bronze sculptures including my own, are made today.

Before the written word, before recorded history, there was sculpture. Sculpture was a wonderful thing, it could express the life history of early man without the need for language. It could depict wars and deeds of the victorious, but it could also show the subtle values of life like love, hate, pain, etc.

Please visit my studio at 1217 Laskin Road and see the demonstration set up of the “Lost Wax” bronze process and the wonderful sculptures that we have created using that process.

Please visit our website at to view the beautiful art work we have in both of our galleries!