Fonderia D'Arte Massimo Del Chiaro

Del Chiaro Art Connection

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This is undoubtedly the most spectacular stage but also the least ‘visible’, that is when the metal, molten and at extremely high temperatures, is poured through a sort of funnel (‘bevera’) pre-set at the top of the refractory mold, proceeding to fill up, via the pouring channels, all the spaces left by the lost wax: thus the sculpture takes on its shape.
The refractory molds are fitted inside special iron casings, over-brimming with sand so as to prevent any physical reactions caused by the metal’s extreme heat, to break the ‘mold’; in ancient times and even quite recently, they were buried in a hole to prevent this from happening. At the top of each refractory mold, there is an entrance hole and some other holes that allow the casting gas to escape.
Until a few years ago, the graphite crucible where the metal liquefies, used to be taken out of the kiln with the aid of special mechanical tongs, placed on a carrier and then the bronze would be poured into the refractory molds. Nowadays, instead, technological innovations allow for less risky manoeuvres: the graphite crucible is placed in a tilt furnace so that the bronze can be siphoned off into the ladles (purposely pre-heated holders) and then poured out into the molds.
Previously, the crucible melted 250 kilos of bronze at a time; nowadays 500 kilos, and it is possible to pour in eight hours about one ton of metal.


  • The most important moment of casting: the metal is poured into the refractory molds (main sprue), as it happens today

  • The casting process twenty-five years ago, directly from the graphite crucible. From the left Charles Umlauf and Marcello Barsi (Foundry craftsman) can be seen

  • The casting process twenty-five years ago, directly from the graphite crucible. From the left Charles Umlauf and Marcello Barsi (Foundry craftsman) can be seen

  • Umlauf and Barsi while they watch the forms after the pourings. At the front, you can see the white-hot metal in the funnel (‘bevera’)

  • The former sector of the Foundry: at the back, the extraction of the white-hot crucible from the kiln; from the left, the Foundry craftsmen Mario Barsi, Marcello Barsi, Giovanni Marchi and Massimo Del Chiaro

  • The white-hot, graphite crucible on the carrier

  • Yesterday: the graphite crucible placed inside the carrier

  • Today: the molten bronze is siphoned off, through the tilt furnace and into the ladle

  • Today: the ladle, full to the brim with metal, ready to be poured.

  • Yesterday: scorification (slag elimination) carried out by Mario Barsi. At the back Massimo Del Chiaro with two craftsmen intent on the fitting in of a large mold.

  • Today: scorification carried out by the craftsman Andrea Tarabella

  • Yesterday: The Foundry craftsman while he carries out the pouring into a large mold of one of Athos Ongaro’s works; the artist himself, watches the casting standing above a refractory ‘mold’

  • Today: Massimo Del Chiaro while coordinating a part of the pouring.

  • Carabinieri Police Force Memorial

    Carabinieri Police Force Memorial

    Stelvio Pestelli, ‘Carabinieri Police Force Memorial’, patinated bronze

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