Lakewood’s Soldiers Memorial, erected in 1923, is a triptych style memorial that honors veterans of three different wars: the Civil War, the Spanish American War and World War I. In early pictures, a majestic bronze eagle sat atop the memorial. In recognition of the 100th anniversary of the memorial, the Lakewood Heritage Foundation is funding a new bronze eagle.
A modern process for a historic monument
Here are the steps to reproduce our majestic eagle.
1. A 3D printer was used to reproduce a digitally sculpted eagle.
2. Rubber molds from the 3D printed eagle were used to create a wax shell form. Once the wax cooled, the eagle was removed from the mold and hand detailed to repair any imperfections from the casting.
3. The cast was cut into smaller pieces which were dipped a number of times to form a thick shell. Although a time-consuming process, this was necessary as every layer needs to dry before a new layer can be added.
4. Once the final layer dried, the eagle was placed into a large oven to melt the wax, leaving a hollow ceramic shell. Before the next step, bronze casting, any cracks in the shell were repaired.
5. The casting was fired at a high temperature and liquid bronze was poured into the hollow shell.
6. After the bronze solidified, the shell was carefully welded back together to form the completed sculpture.
7. Finally, a patina finish was applied to the eagle sculpture.
You can see the restored eagle on the Soldiers Memorial in Lakewood’s section 24.