Answers to Common Questions (FAQs)
Click on the categories & questions below to reveal the answers!
Simply get in touch! Next, we will provide you a FREE consultation with our lead bronze sculpture artist, and prepare a budget and timeline that works with your plans. Orders can be placed via phone, email, and by mail too. Deposits and payments are accepted by check (or money order / certified check), written to 911 Sculpture, LLC. In most cases, 50% deposit is required, unless there is a financial need. We do not accept C.O.D. orders for any of our bronze sculptures.
We design and cast our bronze sculptures in Southern Arizona (Tucson) and ship worldwide (including U.S. and Canada). We’ve shipped over 40 bronze statues to memorial sites and many smaller sculptures (and cremation urns) as well.
You may return undamaged bronze sculpture art work within 30-days of the shipment date. Shipping and handling charges are non-refundable. You must call or email us before returning so we can provide specific packaging instructions. We strongly recommend insuring your returns and we cannot be responsible for lost, damaged or misplaced returns. Custom or customized bronze sculptures cannot be returned or refunded.
911Sculpture.com and Paul Olesniewicz do not sell any of the information you provide through this website other than for the purposes of contacting you directly. Any information you provide is confidential and will not be willfully sold, traded, or rented without your permission.
911Sculpture.com was founded by Paul “Oly” Olesniewicz, to provide high quality bronze sculptures for recognition and memorial for police officers, law enforcement officers, military (I.e., Air Force, Army, Navy) fire fighters, forest service (“hot shots”), and other first responders, including medical personnel (I.e., paramedics, EMT, etc.).
Paul was born in 1947 and is a professional bronze sculptor artist, retired firefighter (serving the City of Tucson Fire Department for 27 years), and army veteran. He is from New Jersey originally, was raised in Flagstaff (where he studied fine arts at NAU), and today lives in Tucson, Arizona with his wife. Learn more here >
To meet him, please contact us and setup a time!
Yes, bronze sculptures can last for thousands of years and the material looks beautiful. However, these high quality bronze sculptures are more than just bronze art and are made to recognize courageous first responders for their active duty, career lifetime (many are retired), and often, when the person passes away in the line of duty. These sculptures are typically installed outdoors for the public to enjoy. The indoor and outdoor sculptures are a tribute to our dear first responders, become part of the community, and strengthen appreciation for first responders of all kinds.
We can add names, station/battalion details, and other customizations to make for a more budget-friendly project. Customizations are less costly, because they are often created from existing moulds which can be adapted/modified for your unique purposes. Fully custom bronze sculptures are pieces that are designed and created by the sculptor (“from scratch”) and sometimes, are “one of a kind”. Some sculptures that were originally commissioned to be “custom designed” are now available for customization for you.
Talk to Paul to see what works best for your budget, timeline, and plans.
Our sculptor can design and create sculptures from 6 inches small to 20 feet tall.
While some of these smaller bronze sculpture pieces may be used as “trophy” type recognition for battalions or certain departmental accomplishments, others are customized into urns, or more often installed in memorial galleries or outdoors as bronze monuments for the public to enjoy. The sculptures are a tribute to the servicemen/women, become part of the community, and strengthen appreciation for first responders of all kinds.
In general, we have 4 types of bronze sculptures:
- Large / Life-Size / Monumental / Memorial Size
- Small Sculptures / Awards / Table Top / Trophy Sized
- Fire fighter Hats / Helmets / Police Caps / Decorative Urns
- Custom Bronze Sculptures
- Life Size Memorial sculptures (cast bronze metal sculpture)
- Outdoor memorial sites or memorial gardens or memorial parks
- Memorial gallery (art display)
- Commemorative sites
- Cremation urns (or functional urn / receptacle for ashes)
- Award trophy statues or recognition figures and statuettes and figurines
- Personalized and customized sculptures
- Small bronze sculptures (great for retirement gifts)
- Monumental bronze sculptures (large)
- Full custom memorial design
Our unique sculptures are representational, commemorating first responders, including: police officers, law enforcement officers, military (I.e., Air Force, Army, Navy), fire fighters, forest service (“hot shots”) or wildland firefighters, aircraft rescue and firefighting (airport fire fighters). Government or military fire department, other emergency first responders, including emergency medical personnel (I.e., paramedic, EMT, and rescue).
Have a specific request? We will try and accommodate you! Contact us today.
Commissioning a bronze sculpture also provides for an opportunity to fundraise for the fire department (or police department, etc.) or local fire foundation, which also can bring the community together around a unified purpose. Since the bronze sculpture process takes some time, a memorial fund (fundraiser) can run in parallel to sculpting work.
Our sculptor, Paul, can work with you to setup a timeline that fits with your fundraiser and provide you some guidance (based on success stories that have worked before).
Deposits and payments are accepted by check, written to 911 Sculpture, LLC. In most cases, 50% deposit is required, unless there is a financial need. Please let us know.
The bronze sculptures produced are typically funded privately (by family members), stations (police or fire), communities, and even non-profit foundations.
Sculpture pricing varies based on size, purpose (I.e., handheld/small or lifesize), and whether an existing cast sculpture is simply personalized (limited custom work using a template we already have) or the sculpture is entirely custom designed. It is very important that you share your ideas and plans with our sculptor so he can guide you through the best decision for your budget, timeline, and other design requirements.
Pricing includes the shop time (foundry), rubber for moulds, wax, and other consumable material products. Shipping is paid for separately. Installation for memorials/monuments is not included, however, we do provide some consultation on best practices.
Bronze pricing is known to fluctuate and sometimes this must be taken into consideration by our sculptor as well. We always notify you if there’s any unusual pricing, but this is rare.
Bronze sculptures can be created in a number of ways, and are the most popular metal cast sculptures in the world, lasting up to 7000+ years (standing the test of time!). We create all of our sculptures by hand, using the lost-wax method, which you can learn more about on Wikipedia or here on our Bronze Sculpture Process page.
Our sculpture process varies based on size, finishing, and plans for installation. At times, they will be adapted for mounting on a concrete base (walkways), whereas smaller statues are more commonly installed on marble or granite base (granite for outdoors).
We design and cast our sculptures in Southern Arizona (Tucson) and ship nationwide. We’ve shipped over 40 bronze statues to memorial sites across the U.S. and Canada and many smaller sculptures (and cremation urns) as well.
We work from our home workshop and Metalphysic Sculpture Studio (foundry), which was founded by Anthony Bayne in 2001 in Tucson, Arizona.
Most of our sculptures have a lead time, and can range between 4-5 months. The larger custom bronze sculptures can take upwards of 4-6 months, depending on size and requirements. Though these timelines are fairly tight, let us know if you have a particular timeline you’d like us to work with and we will do our best to accommodate you. Keep in mind, custom statues may take longer.
The creation of a bronze sculpture is a rather long but rewarding process. If you’d like to learn more, check out our bronze sculpture process page. First, the artist takes his or her idea for the sculpture and makes a model or maquette out of clay or wax. The model may take days, weeks or months of work to finish. The model is then taken to the art foundry. Using the artist model, skilled workers make a rubber mold of the model. This rubber mold is backed with fiber glass or plaster to make it rigid. The mold is often composed of many pieces depending on the complexity of the model. This mold will also take days or weeks to complete. Wax is sloshed into the mold and poured out several times. This will create a hollow wax model that is an exact match for the original clay model. A wax cup, runners and sprews are attached to the wax sculpture to form channels for the molten bronze to flow through. A multi-layered ceramic coating, or shell, is applied to the wax. The wax model, covered in a ceramic shell, is fired to 2000 degrees F. This sets the ceramic material and melts out the wax. Now the hollow ceramic shell is filled with molten bronze and left to cool. The shell is removed and the cup, runners and sprews are cut off. The bronze sculpture is ground, polished and sand blasted. A patina, or chemical color, is applied and the surface of the sculpture is waxed and polished. After weeks or months of careful painstaking work the sculpture is mounted on a base and ready to present to the customer.
Interested in how bronze sculptures were made in ancient times? Check out the video below!
Bronze has been used for thousands of years to make everything from swords to jewelry. Traditionally it has been an alloy of copper and tin. Copper will usually make up 90% of the alloy with tin as the remainder. Modern art foundries usually use a mixture of 95% copper and 5% silicon.
By adding Tin to Copper, early humans create the worlds first alloy – Bronze. Watch the video below to learn more!
A patina is a color or colorful incrustation found on old bronzes. This color is formed by a chemical reaction between the copper in the bronze and elements found in the soil and air. This patina can be almost any color, from shades of green, blue, red, black and brown. Today to duplicate the colors or patinas of old bronzes, chemicals are applied to the new bronze statues.
Want to learn more about patina? View the video below!
Bronze sculptures have been found that are thousands of years old. Your statue will last into the next millennia with almost no care. The sculpture should be lightly waxed once or twice a year. Using a soft cotton cloth apply a thin coat of Johnson’s Paste Wax or Kiwi Shoe Polish, Neutral. Let this dry for 20 minutes and gently buff with a clean, soft, cotton cloth.
Watch the video below to learn more about caring for your bronze sculpture.
Unlike plaster or cold cast bronzes, (plastic with the addition of bronze powder sometimes called bonded bronze) true bronze statues have survived for thousands of years. Bronze statues can be handed down from generation to generation. The process of creating and casting a bronze sculpture takes many weeks or months to complete. It takes the combined talent and skill of the artist and foundry worker to produce the final work of art. I hope you will agree that the final product is well worth the time and effort.
The Art Bronze Foundry explains in the video below how to identify a quality bronze sculpture – which you’re guaranteed to get with 911 Sculptures!
Carefully place the statue on its pedestal or base and position it in its final location, taking care not to scratch the pedestal. When moving the sculpture remove all watches, rings and jewelry that might scratch the statues finish or patina. Belt buckles and pant rivets may also scratch the statues surface. If using mechanical lifts or cranes to move the statue make sure to use soft straps and padding to insure that the statue does not get scratched.
Use pieces of masking tape at all four corners to mark the location of the statue’s bronze base. Remove the statue. Using the tape as index marks, align the mounting template and secure it to the pedestal with masking tape. Mark the centers of the threaded rods indicated on the template. Remove the template and drill the holes in the pedestal with the appropriate size masonry drill bit, normally one size larger diameter than the diameter of the mounting rod. Drill the holes to a depth at least 3/4 inch deeper than the length of the threaded rods. Clean all holes of all dust and debris with compressed air. Lay the statue on its back on a movers blanket or piece of carpet being careful not to scratch the patina. For large statues lift the statue using a fork lift or crane. Screw the threaded rods into the nuts on the bottom of the sculpture. Place the statue with the threaded rods attached into the holes in the pedestal. Check that the statue sits all the way down on the pedestal and aligns with the tape index marks and is positioned properly. Remove the statue and fill the holes in the pedestal with epoxy about 2/3 of the way to the top. Set the statue back into the holes and quickly make any minor adjustments needed. Remove the masking tape.The epoxy will set in about 15 to 20 minutes as indicated on the epoxy instructions. The statue is now permanently attached to the pedestal.
Please read and follow all directions found on the mounting epoxy tube.
Materials and supplies
- Paint brush with the metal ferrule taped to avoid scratching the patina.
- Paste wax; Treewax clear, Johnson’s Paste Wax
- Clean, soft cotton cloths or rags.
- Non metallic bucket, (plastic or rubber) filled with warm, clean water.
- Non-ionic or neutral PH soap, such as Orvus. Orvus can be found in pet and feed stores as it is used to bath horses. You may also use Johnson’s Baby Shampoo.
- Plastic or wood handled soft bristle, scrub brush and/or sponge.
- Clean rinse water.
To maintain the appearance and longevity of your sculpture it should be cleaned and waxed once or preferably twice a year. It is best to pick a warm, clear day. First, rinse off the sculpture with water. Then mix 3 gallons of warm water, in a plastic bucket with Orvus cleaner at the ratio of 1 once of Orvus to 3 gallon of water. Start at the top using a soft bristled, plastic or wood handled scrub brush and/or sponge to clean all the surfaces. Rinse the statue well. Using a clean, dry towel, blot off all the remaining water and let the sculpture dry in the sun. It is very important that the statue is completely dry and warm before applying wax to the bronze.When the bronze is dry and warm to the touch, it is ready to have the paste wax applied. Using a paint brush, with its’ metal ferrule taped, apply a light coat of wax to the entire statue. Let the wax dry for 15 to 20 minutes and then buff using a clean, dry, lint free, cotton cloth. A second coat of wax can applied.Never use any chemicals, cleaning solutions, tarnish removers, Brasso, furniture polishes/oils or abrasive cleaning pads on your bronze sculpture. Avoid exposing the sculpture to sprinklers, fertilizer spray, pesticides, ammonia and chlorine.With proper maintenance the patina will slowly mellow and deepen. This is considered very desirable and part of the appeal of owing a bronze work of art.