Briggs Design (http://briggssculpture.com/) is a collaboration between Jeffrey and Lindley Briggs who have worked together for over 40 years to create unique commissioned sculpture and are very talented. The request was to create a medal for the Historic New England organization, who was hoping to have a bronze medal created to present in a recognition ceremony that would take place in January. Below is what transpired.
Project description from Briggs Design:
The Historic New England Medal Development
The request for proposals to create a medal for the Historic New England organization was a referral from the New England Sculptors Association, in late July 2021. Historic New England was hoping to have a bronze medal created to present in a recognition ceremony that would take place in January. At the outset, they realized that the timeline for developing the medal was unrealistic. A quick survey of multiple bronze foundries resulted in production estimates times of six months to a year to cast a bronze medal. We responded to the proposal with a suggestion that the medal could be produced within their timeline in an alternate material that could be patinated to look like bronze. This alternative medal could be presented to the recipient with the understanding that the foundry bronze version would follow as soon as possible.
Historic New England accepted our proposal and commissioned us to begin the design and sculpting process. Our plan was to sculpt the medal four times larger than the finished requested dimension of 4” in diameter, in order to retain as much detail as possible. The original, created 18” in diameter, would be chemically reduced in stages with a shrinking rubber casting material called Hydroshrink 400. We have been using this process for over 15 years with great success. Since the material has a short shelf life of 12 months, we waited a month or two before placing an order. We discovered that the company that had manufactured the material had been sold to a larger company that decided not to produce Hydroshrink 400 any longer. We spent the next three days trying to find a supplier that might have some that was not too old, with no success.
We realized immediately that none of the alternative mechanical methods for reducing the medal would fit within the timeline. The only alternative left would be scanning the original 18” medallion, having it reduced to 4” digitally, then having it 3-D printed. We have tried this several times over the previous decade with disappointing results. However, we were informed that the technology had made great strides and that new 3-D printing methods and materials could hold the details that we needed in the medal. We spent the next three days calling all over New England to find scanning and 3-D printing companies that would accept our project. The responses to our calls varied between abrupt hangups to a complete misunderstanding of what we were trying to do.
Finally, we talked to Jason Gaboury at Northeast 3-D Solutions in Springfield Vermont who listened carefully to our request and immediately immersed himself in the project. He assured us that our project was well within his company’s capabilities. It was, and the results were exceptional!
We discovered that Northeast 3-D not only has superior scanning technology but also the latest in 3-D sculpting and printing methods. Far beyond the newest technology, the company’s greatest asset is the patient personality and knowledge of their leader Jason. I would encourage all to call Jason first for any scanning, reducing and 3-D computer printing project.