The collection of sculptures start with Charlie Mallon the metalworker and his interest in the Celtic myths and stories that permeate Irish history. Those Ideas led to designs that draw from the symbols of Ireland's ancient past and initiated a collaboration with illustrator David Rooney. The bronzes are cast in the foundry in Co Tyrone, the family home.
Each Mallon bronze embodies our past belief and life spirit.
In Ireland, the first evidence of copper being alloyed to tin to make bronze comes from flat axes dating from 2000BC. Bronze was widely used across Europe for weapons and decoration as well as everyday tools in the home. Irish craftsmen became particularly noted for the horn-shaped trumpet, which was made by the cire perdue, or lost wax process.
The sculptures were inspired by bronzes dating back to the fifth century BC, found in La Tene in Switzerland and at other sites in Germany, Denmark, France and Great Britain. These pieces are symbollic of the La Tene culture which stretched across Europe across two centuries from 450 to 200BC, the style is more popularly known today as Early Celtic Art. It was adopted by the Irish and preserved in religious texts and metalwork.
Using the same lost wax process used by Bronze Age craftsmen, the sculpture is created in clay from which a mould is made. Wax is then poured into the mould and left to harden.
This wax version of the sculpture is then removed from the mould and finished by hand. Over several days the wax is dipped repeatedly in a ceramic shell mix which hardens before being fired at a very high temperature, the wax melts out at this stage leaving a hollow shell.