Art casting is an ancient method of creating statues and sculptures that has been in practice in Meso-America, China, and Ancient Egypt since 2000 BC. The Greeks practiced it, so did the Romans, and pretty much any civilization with a strong interest in art.
Bronze is an alloy of tin and copper that has been used to make weapons and sculptures since its discovery by man. Bronze is able to fill in the fine detail of molds making it very desirable to artists sand casting services. When art casting, bronze is the alloy of choice since it is both beautiful and easy to work with. There are few examples of bronze statues left from antiquity since the alloy became scarce and many of the statues were melted down for weapons and other sculptures usually for new emperors or victors.
The Lost Wax Casting process is the preferred method used when art casting. This process was used in ancient times to create bronze items. Small foundries like the type found in backyards, personnel workshops, and garages are able to use the Lost Wax Casting process with a certain amount of professionalism. Commercial foundries and professional art companies use the Lost Wax Casting process as well to create custom items and monuments. The process remains, essentially, the same since the ancient craftsmen who first pioneered the method. When used in commercial manufacturing or jewelry making, the Lost Wax Casting process is called Investment Casting.
Art casting is one of the more enjoyable reasons to fire up the furnace and get into metal casting. While most think metal casting to be strictly limited to hobbyist and historical re-enactors, casting is a popular skill and craft used by a wide range of people for varying reasons. Artists see the need to have metal casting skills as it allows the artists to have direct control over the process instead of out sourcing it to a commercial foundry. Commercial foundries that specialize in custom pieces will often charge outrageous prices for their services. Art casting on your own is often times economical and just smart.