Trunks of Hope

In our 11th Anantara Hotels Resorts & Spas #ElephantProfessional lecture, Rip Caswell and Alison Caswell presented their copper elephant sculpture, Trunks of Hope, which was inspired by the GTAEF elephants.

The making of the Trunks of Hope

The entire process began with a 2D sketch, where the Caswells had to obtain the measurements on the elephant in order to get all the proportions.

They then modeled the elephant using the oil-based plasticine clay, which does not dry out easily and is good for sculpting.

Once the clay model was finished, the foundry process began. First, a silicone rubber mold was built up to 1/4″ thick to capture all the fine crevices and details on the clay model.

After that, hot wax was poured into the mold and let dry. This process had to be repeated to form multiple coats and sand had to be sprinkled onto the wax in between. After two weeks, a thick rock shell was formed.

After dewaxing the shell in the fire, bronze was melted at up to 2000 degrees and poured into the shell to fill up the cavity. The shell was then chipped off and the parts were sand-blasted for cleaning.

Finally, the parts were sanded, blended and welded back together. And with a final pinch of metal salts and oxidizers on its patina layer, voila!

There are only 35 bronze sculptures produced for this limited edition, and you can now own one of them! Order a bronze sculpture now, and a portion of the proceeds will go back to GTAEF to help the elephants in need.

Disclaimer: the views and opinions expressed by the speaker do not necessarily represent Golden Triangle Asian Elephant Foundation.