Electroplating Cast-Metal Sculptures

Levi Sternberg, University of South Dakota


U Discover research project: Electroplating Cast Metal Sculptures. My research was on sculpting, casting and electroplating a series of figurative sculpture. I created small and large sculptures for the project which required their own methods of modeling, molding and casting. The idea behind the sculptures was to explore the language of the body to elicit empathy in the viewer. The sculptures were cleaned and polished before being electroplated. Through my research, I created and tested my own recipes and methods for electroplating metals like steel, copper, brass, nickel, iron, zinc and silver onto objects cast out of iron, bronze, copper and aluminum. The goal of the research is to find an inexpensive and safe method of electrodeposition for artist. To that end, I developed my own recipes for electrolyte solutions from common ingredients. Another goal was to develop a more sustainable methods of making cast metal sculpture. The presentation will conclude with a discussion of my future experiments in electrochemistry.