The wax Oscars® are reworked as necessary and attached to a plumbing system through which molten bronze flows into the ceramic shell mold.
The wax Oscars® are reworked as necessary and attached to a plumbing system through which molten bronze flows into the ceramic shell mold. Photo via Dorith Mous / ©A.M.P.A.S.

This year’s Oscar statuettes will look a little bit different, with the famed awards getting a new manufacturer for the first time in 34 years, the  announced Tuesday.

The coveted statuettes will be crafted this year by Polich Tallix Fine Art Foundry based in Rock Tavern, New York. Since 1982, the statuettes were made by Chicago-based R.S. Owens & Co. According to the Academy, the switch will take the statuette back to its “roots,” being hand-cast in bronze before receiving its 24-karat gold finish.

Academy officials said Polich Tallix used a cast-bronze Oscar from 1929 to create its wax mold with the help of a 3D printer, restoring some “subtle features of George Stanley’s original sculpture.” Each of the wax statuettes is coated in ceramic, then cured and fired at 1,600 degrees, which melts away the wax and leaves the empty Oscar form that is cast in liquid bronze at more than 1,800 degrees.

The statuette will still be roughly the same size and weight of its predecessor — 13.5 inches high and 8.5 pounds.

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

The Academy still plans to work with R.S. Owens & Co. to provide service on existing statuettes and create other awards, such as the plaques presented during the annual Scientific and Technical Awards ceremony.

—City News Service

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.