Internationally renowned American artist Mark Hopkins creates bronze sculptures that have thrilled collectors and casual art fans alike for more than two decades. Mark Hopkins' unique balance of organic inspiration and singular contemporary design has been called "bronze in motion" for its fluid look, which often appears to display natural beauty in defiance of gravity.
About Mark Hopkins
Mark Hopkins takes his inspiration for every facet of life on Earth, from the majesty of wildlife to mankind's interaction with nature, and produces limited-edition pieces that evoke a sense of awe and respect for the mysteries and loveliness of the world around us. Collectors of his work include Barbara Mandrell, Clint Eastwood, Bill Clinton, Colin Powell, George and Barbara Bush and a host of other luminaries and corporations including the National League Association of Baseball Club Owners, the Atlanta National Golf Club, Humana, Coca-Cola and others. Each Mark Hopkins sculpture is crafted with pride in the USA.
Captivated by form and design, Mark has personally created a signature style of vibrant vitality resulting from decades of study. Encouraged by parents and teachers from an early age, Mark's unique talent developed alongside his technical skills of sculpting and casting. As an artist, Mark is constantly challenging himself to render the rich beauty of life and the deep emotion of the human soul into flowing sculptural form, noting “I strive to express beyond the image, to catch spirit, to reveal deeper emotions, and to share joy.”
About the Production Process
From the artist's hand to the final polishing stages, many intricate steps go into the creation of a limited edition bronze sculpture. First the reproduction mold is made in which layers of silicone rubber and plaster are delicately applied to the original work. Then hot wax is poured into the reproduction mold to form an exact replica of the original sculpture.
When the wax replica is removed from the mold, it is then inspected and refined or "chased" by hand to remove any imperfections that may have occurred in the reproduction process. Next, ceramic cup and wax sprues, or gates, are added which later will help channel the molten bronze into the shell to create the sculpture.
The next step is creating the ceramic shell by alternately dipping the wax replica over a period of several days into a vat of liquid slurry, then a vat of silica crystals. The shell is then set to dry, and the process repeats until the shell has reached the appropriate thickness and strength.
The finished shell is placed in a high temperature oven that melts and removes the wax (the traditional "lost wax" method). The hardened or "fired" shell is secured, so the molten bronze can now be poured into the wax impression. Once the molten bronze has sufficiently cooled, the ceramic shell will be chipped, then sandblasted, and the cup as well as the gates are removed. Then a team of highly skilled craftsmen weld, "chase," and polish the bronze to smooth out any imperfections and restore integrity and even texture of the original sculpture.
To create the unique variety of shading hues on the metal, artists carefully apply a combination of special chemical solutions or "patinas" which are sealed with wax to render the fine art bronze finish. While the process can be intense and time consuming, the finished product is both beautiful and timeless. Mark Hopkins bronze sculptures will endure as family heirlooms and cherished art pieces to be passed down from generation to generation.