TAIRONA CULTURE, FISHING SCENE, PRECOLOMBIAN, LOST WAX, TUMBAGA, GOLD PLATED, SIERRA NEVADA de santa marta, COLOMBIA, UNIQUE, 1017 g, (39 cm * 13 cm * 9 cm).
Lost Wax, Fishing Scene
This statue Tairona is the result of an ancestral technique work made with lost wax (tumbaga).
In the area of goldsmiths, taironas played a leading role, as they developed many techniques such as:
• the lost wax, which consisted of making clay molds surrounding a wax figure, which melted after heating the clay packaging. After removing the melted wax, the goldsmith poured the liquid gold into the space left by the wax figure, then waited for it to solidify and broke the mold to remove the desired figure.
• the tumbaga, an alloy of copper and gold that allowed to save resources and more easily melt gold.
• treatments to improve the quality of gold, such as heating it to the oxidation of copper and then immersing it in ice water to get a permanent patina of gold and prevent the piece from cracking. Finally the process ended with the sanding of the piece until it reached perfection. It is believed that several of these techniques were developed by the Muiscas and exported to the Tairona people. In turn, these are also considered exporters of goldsmithing and spinning techniques: while most of the first Muisca works seem rough and poorly finished (even when the quality of gold is superior), the taironas are technically perfect. The technique of lost wax improved the aesthetics of the works, so the muiscas practically abandoned the method of direct embossing, which in addition to inaccurate reduced the life of the piece (due to the risk of cracking), and also restricted the Laminated works, since embossing on raw gold is almost impossible. In turn, the taironas, by learning methods such as immersion of the piece in water, substantially improved the quality of the material and the beauty of the ornament.
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