Photos: Oscar statuette getting 1920s makeover from new foundry

Oscar is looking into his past for a makeover. The Academy has hired Rock Tavern, New York-based company Polich Tallix Fine Art Foundry to exclusively create its iconic golden statuette, starting with Feb. 28's Academy Awards.

The 3-D printed Oscar image is cleaned prior to making the production mold.
Oscar is looking into his past for a makeover.

The Academy has hired Rock Tavern, New York-based company Polich Tallix Fine Art Foundry to tweak and exclusively create its iconic golden statuette, starting with Feb. 28's Academy Awards.

This is big news for Oscar fans, the Academy and future winners.

To give the Oscar his striking appearance,
all surfaces have to be perfect.
Using a cast bronze Oscar from 1929, artisans at Polich Tallix 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— 13.5 inches tall and 8.5 pounds — remains the same.

The Oscar will now be hand-cast in bronze before receiving its 24-karat gold finish, in a process that will take about three months to produce 50 statuettes.

“With the help of some 21st century technology, we’re able to honor the Oscar’s proud beginnings,” said Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs in a statement. “The new statuette exemplifies impeccable craftsmanship and the enduring nature of art.”

It's a sad day for Chicago-based R.S. Owens & Company, which has made the statuettes since 1982. However, the Academy says it will keep R.S. Owens on for servicing existing statuettes and creating other awards, including plaques for its annual Scientific and Technical Awards.




The Process
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 3-D printed (see photo above) and molded (see photo below) 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 via a plumbing system (see below) at more than 1,800°F, cooled, and sanded to a mirror polish finish (see below).



The figure portion of each Oscar is electroplated (see below) with a permanent layer of reflective 24-karat gold by Epner Technology, a renowned high-tech specification electroplating company in Brooklyn. Gold plating is only one micron thick and would not cover even the smallest indent. To accomplish a perfect surface, the castings are plated first with copper, then nickel, and polished to a high luster.


The statuette’s bronze base receives a smooth black patina, which is hand-buffed to a satin finish.

Founded in 1972, Polich Tallix combines advanced technology with world-class craftsmanship as it strives to create works of art that preserve each artist’s unique purpose and vision.

“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 88th Academy Awards, for outstanding film achievements of 2015, will be presented on Sunday, Feb. 28, 2016, at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center, and will be televised live on ABC and in more than 225 countries worldwide.

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The Gold Knight - Latest Academy Awards news, predictions and insight: Photos: Oscar statuette getting 1920s makeover from new foundry
Photos: Oscar statuette getting 1920s makeover from new foundry
Oscar is looking into his past for a makeover. The Academy has hired Rock Tavern, New York-based company Polich Tallix Fine Art Foundry to exclusively create its iconic golden statuette, starting with Feb. 28's Academy Awards.
https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-kh0lasG21sE/VsObGgA3KgI/AAAAAAAAIKg/xHNth6_wJbE/s640/OscarStatuette_Makeover_2016_3Dprinting.jpg
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The Gold Knight - Latest Academy Awards news, predictions and insight
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