Does anyone have a bronze head they can lend me?

As I said earlier, the next step is to try out my new thermal-imprinting technique (“LOTTO”) on something larger than the crucifix used previously (see previous posting).  It needs to be something that can fit comfortably inside my kitchen oven,  preferably with lots of in-the-round 3D and relief detail, and not too dissimilar from the Man on the TS.

I’ve been searching online for hot-cast bronze, i.e  real 100% bronze ( copper-tin alloy), not the lighter, cheaper look-alike substitutes that are called resin-bronze.

But there’s a problem – cost.

Hot-cast bronze from the classical catalogue (Greek heads)

Hot-cast bronze from the classical catalogue (Greek boxers’ heads)

One of those would be ideal. But I don’t want to spend £385 (+£25 postage) simply to do a one-off experiment (no matter how satisfying the result). Yup, £385:

price list greek boxers head 385 cropped highlighted

Is there anyone out there who owns a life-size bronze head,  who would not object to it being heated to a max of 300 degrees Celsius approx, all in the name of science?  The surface finish may suffer a little, but hot-cast bronze should otherwise be unaffected.

I’d  be happy to pay return postage needless to say.

Please leave a comment on this post, and I’ll provide an email address.

Postscript (11 December) :   Have heard back from the bronze supplier who interestingly suggested the Greek boxer head as maybe fitting the bill.  But we science bods are fickle where first ideas are concerned,  and I’m now having second thoughts about purchasing a fully-in-the-round- head.

Why? Looking at the heads in the graphic above, there would clearly be excessive lateral distortion if one tried to imprint around the sides, especially to reach that hairline. But do I hear people say: “Hold on. That’s a cop-out!” ? Perhaps, but then I have never made a secret of my belief that that face of the Man on the TS looks too mask like, with those sharp cut-offs between cheeks and hair, and the hair too does not look realistic. Garlaschelli considered that a bas relief template was used for the face, and so do I, so there’s no point in using a full 3D head if it simply confirms lateral distortion. What I shall do instead is try and find a good bas relief of a head with hair, with lots of relief and detail, but not excessive 3D, over and above the minimum needed to get a good thermal imprint that is likely to respond well to light/dark reversal and 3D enhancement.

Postscript 23rd December:

Posted as comment to the Porter site a few minutes ago, addressed primarily to David Goulet (one of the few there blessed with an truly open and enquiring mind).

Thanks David.

I had an opportunity recently – under a cloak of anonymity –  to make Telegraph readers aware of my outlandish ideas, e.g a possible link with Jacques de Molay and those Templars (see following comment).

Nobody turned a hair, despite a strong presence of Catholics in its readership, which is exactly as it should be.

Merry Christmas, erstwhile friends and foes.


About Colin Berry

Retired science bod, previous research interests: phototherapy of neonatal jaundice, membrane influences on microsomal UDP-glucuronyltransferase, defective bilirubin and xenobiotic conjugation and hepatic excretion, dietary fibre and resistant starch.
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