The Oscars 2016 feature for the first time again bronze as base material.
The Academy goes back to its roots at the Oscars 2016. The Oscar 2016 Statuettes will be made with bronze. This returns to the Oscar’s fine art roots, the statuettes will now be hand-cast in bronze before receiving its 24-karat gold finish.
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The first Oscar statuette in 1929 was also cast in bronze. In the past decades britannia metal, a pewter-like alloy was used. During WWII the statuettes were made of painted plaster because of metal shortage. Winners could though exchange these with metal ones after the war.
“With the help of some 21st century technology, we’re able to honor the Oscar’s proud beginnings,” said Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs. “The new statuette exemplifies impeccable craftsmanship and the enduring nature of art.”
Using a cast bronze Oscar from 1929, Polich Tallix artisans have restored subtle features of George Stanley’s original sculpture, which was based on sketches by MGM art director Cedric Gibbons. The overall size of the statuette remains the same.
"With this project, we’ve been entrusted with continuing a great tradition,” said Dick Polich, Polich Tallix founder and CEO. “It’s a privilege to be able to bring our art experience and technical expertise to the Oscar.”
The Academy assigned Polich Tallix Fine Art Foundry, based in Rock Tavern, New York the honor of making the new Oscar statuettes. Polich Tallix started its Oscar-making process by creating digital scans of the 1929 statuette and a modern-era pedestal base. The digital Oscar was then 3D-printed and molded so the form could be cast in wax.
Each wax statuette is coated in a ceramic shell that is cured and fired at 1,600°F, melting the wax away and leaving an empty Oscar-shaped form. The statuettes are then cast in liquid bronze at more than 1,800°F, cooled, and sanded to a mirror polish finish.
The figure portion of each Oscar is electroplated with a permanent layer of reflective 24-karat gold by Epner Technology, a high-tech specification electroplating company in Brooklyn. The statuette’s bronze base receives a smooth black patina, which is hand-buffed to a satin finish.
The time required to produce 50 statuettes in this manner is about three months.
At a height of 13.5 inches and weight of 8.5 pounds, the new Oscar retains the basic physical characteristics of its immediate predecessor, which had been made by Chicago-based R.S. Owens & Company since 1982.
The Oscars 2016 takes place at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center in Hollywood and will be broadcasted live on ABC on Sunday, Feb. 28 at 7pm ET starting with the Oscars Red Carpet coverage. The award ceremony kicks off at 8:30pm ET, hosted by comedian Chris Rock. His monologue will be the most anticipated one in years because of the #OscarsSoWhite controversy.
ABC will stream the Oscars 2016 live online, but the feed requires a participating TV provider account and is available in Chicago, Fresno, Houston, Los Angeles, New York City, Philadelphia, Raleigh-Durham, and San Francisco.
There will be also a behind the scenes live broadcast available in addition to the main broadcast. The Oscars Backstage will be streamed online on the Oscars.com site.
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