How to Commission Your First Bronze Sculpture

by Hazel P.

Commissioning a bronze sculpture is not particularly difficult, but at the same time, it is not that simple. It is a process and you need to know how it goes. Here is a short guide on what to expect so that you can have the best possible bronze sculpture. 

You need to be clear with yourself about a few important aspects. First of all, you need to be clear about what you want it to be. Do you have any particular idea of what you want, does it already exist, or you want something unique. 

If you choose from a pre-existing sculpture, then you will be able to save some money. If not, then you will need a bigger budget. That depends on many factors such as the artist, the complexity of the piece, the timeline (how soon you need it done), the foundry expenses, the installation cost, and so on. 

The artist

You can choose to work with an artist directly or through an art gallery. Some of them are very communicative, while others are not that much. Then some work fast, while others don’t like to be rushed. 

To choose the right one, ask for their references and portfolio. Sometimes, even if they have a reputation saying that they are hard to work with, their work may be worth the trouble. 

Once you select an artist, you will be asked to make a deposit which typically is around one-third of the total value of the piece. That’s just for their artwork.

The cost

The other two-thirds of the cost goes to the casting of the bronze and the installation process. Usually, they are paid in two installments. Additional surcharges are possible, but not common. The second installment is paid after the client approves the final design made by the artist. Once the second deposit is made, the sculpture is set for the foundry stage. After the third installment is complete, the sculpture is ready to be installed.


Unless you have an agreement that says otherwise, it is up to you to organize the transportation and installation. In any case, professional installation is necessary, especially if the installation is going to be exposed to the public. If that’s the case, some municipalities will ask for an engineer to analyze and inspect the site where the installation will be placed. 


There are two ways to approach this, assumingly it is an outdoor installation. The first one is to let it be on its own, exposed to the elements. Then some feel that it is best to apply a protective coating to preserve its appearance. There is no wrong or right choice, just what you think will look better. For some installations, the rustic appearance is perfect, while others look better with a protective coating. 


Unless there is a specific prior agreement, all copyright belongs to the artist. He or she determines whether their work can be reproduced or not. The copyright protection lasts during the lifetime of the artists, plus seventy years. 

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