In preparation for the casting process, the Admiral’s final clay figure had to be cut into multiple sections to be individually molded and cast. The number of sections into which a monument sculpture is divided depends on the size and complexity of the artwork. In this case, the sculpture was cut into more than a dozen pieces for the molding process.
The Admiral’s metamorphosis from clay to bronze began by applying a silicon rubber mold in two hemispheres to each cut section of the Nimitz sculpture. The liquid rubber, applied by the mold maker, captured all of the sculpture’s details, even fingerprints left by the artist, into a negative impression.
This mold was then encased in a plaster “mother” mold. This enabled the form to be held in place without distortion by the flexibility of the rubber. This two part mold was crafted to be used more than once. The two copies of the sculpture could then be cast; one for Pearl Harbor and one for Fredericksburg, Texas.