What is the Oscar award?
Oscar was officially named the Academy Award of Merit, the statuette is better known by its nickname, Oscar. The Oscar statuette has been awarded by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences since 1929. The statue was designed by MGM art director Cedric Gibbons and created in 3D form by sculptor George Stanley. The first statue was cast in bronze by Guido Nelli at the California Bronze Foundry. The statuette is of a knight holding a sword on top of a reel of film, The film reel features five spokes, signifying the five original branches of the Academy: actors, directors, producers, technicians and writers. Oscar stands 13½ inches tall and weighs in at a robust 8½ pounds. Although the statuette remains true to its original design, the size of the base varied until 1945, when the current standard was adopted. While only 24 Oscars are presented each year, a total of 50 are produced prior to the event in case more is required if there is a tie or multiple winners in any of the categories.
How are Oscar statuettes made?
Oscar statues made by R.S. Owens
R.S. Owens has been the exclusive supplier of the ATAS, Primetime Emmy Awards, since 1982, so Oscar statues are created at Rs Owens in Chicago each year, they produce fifty to sixty of these handcrafted statues for the Oscar ceremony. the Oscar first takes shape in the casting process. First, the mold of the Oscar statue is constructed, then the 960 degree molten Britannia metal(Britannia metal, also called britannium or Britannia ware, is a specific type of pewter alloy, favored for its silvery appearance and smooth surface) is poured in just moments. The metal solidifies and then is cut and all rough seams are sanded before moving on to the polishing stage.
Each statue is carefully handed polished to a bright mirror finish ensuring that all of Oscar’s features stay intact and then it’s on to the electroplating, electroplating involves the statue being hand-dipped into for electroplating metal solutions. First, the Oscar is plated with copper to prevent corrosion, second, it will be dipped into a nickel solution to improve the adhesive qualities of the surface silver becomes the third layer creating a shiny base for the final solution, the coating of 24-carat gold. meanwhile, the base is being spun from raw brass material and polished and plated with black nickel, once this base has taken shape, a small plate is fixed to identify the statue as an official academy award when Oscar’s plating is finished.
Next, It will get a unique identification number and is ready for the final process, Oscar is carefully mounted on the base and a circular felt pad is placed on the bottom, then Oscar is placed inside custom packing material to ensure that it arrived at the ceremony unharmed. there is one final touch before Oscar is finished and that’s the personal engraved tag identifying the winner but we’ll have to wait until the Oscar ceremony to find out whose name will be on this Oscar.
Oscar statues made by Polich Tallix
Since 2016, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced that Polich Tallix Fine Art Foundry, based in Rock Tavern, New York, will exclusively create its iconic Oscar statuettes, starting with the 88th Academy Awards. In a process that returns to Oscar’s fine art roots, the statuettes will now be hand-cast in bronze before receiving its 24-karat gold finish.
Polich Tallix artisans have restored subtle features of George Stanley’s original sculpture, which was based on sketches by MGM art director Cedric Gibbons, using a cast bronze Oscar from 1929. The statuette’s overall size remains unchanged. Polich Tallix began its Oscar-making process by digitizing the 1929 statuette and a modern-era pedestal base. After that, the digital Oscar was 3D-printed and molded so that the form could be cast in wax.
Each wax statuette is encased in a ceramic shell before being cured and fired at 1,600°F, melting the wax and leaving an empty Oscar-shaped form. The statuettes are then cooled and sanded to a mirror polish finish after being cast in liquid bronze at over 1,800°F.
Epner Technology, a renowned high-tech specification electroplating company in Brooklyn, electroplates the figure portion of each Oscar with a permanent layer of reflective 24-karat gold. The bronze base of the statuette is given a smooth black patina that is hand-buffed to a satin finish.
It takes about three months to make 50 statuettes in this manner. 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, standing 13.5 inches tall and weighing 8.5 pounds. The Academy will continue to work with R.S. Owens to service existing statuettes and create new awards for the Academy, such as plaques for its annual Scientific and Technical Awards.
I have to say Polich Tallix’s team has done a great job in the whole manufacturing process of the Oscar statuette, although there is a lot of Chinese manufacturing companies that can do the same things.
The Composition of Oscar Statuettes
“The Composition of Oscar Statuettes – Compound Interest.” Compound Interest, www.compoundchem.com, 25 Feb. 2017.