A lot of big events in the U.S seem to have a ‘Croatian connection’ somewhere. Last year’s Super Bowl final, this year’s Presidential race, and now the 2016 Oscars…
A fine art foundry in New York owned by the son of Croatian immigrants are in charge of producing the famous Oscar statuette for the Academy Awards, which will be held in Los Angeles next Sunday.
For over 30 years the Oscar statuettes have been manufactured by a Chicago trophy firm, but the Academy have chosen the Pollich Tallix Fine Art Foundry to take over the duties.
Polich, the surname of owner and founder Dick Polich, Tallix, derived from the word metallics, have moulded this year’s statuette after a cast bronze statuette from 1929, the year the Academy Awards were first held, and a modern Oscar from 2015.
“These two scans were blended to make the 2016 design closer to George Stanley’s original Art Deco sculpture. The new, 2016 Oscar marries the best features of the classic Oscar to the contemporary form of the modern Oscar through 3-D modeling,” the company said, before explaining the production process of the statuettes.
“After the design was 3-D printed in wax, a mold of the wax print was made and used to make a wax version for each statuette. The wax versions are then each dipped in a ceramic shell slurry for ten coats. Once the shell is cured, it is fired in an oven at 1600° F. Bronze at 1860° F is then poured into the hot ceramic shell and allowed to cool overnight. The next morning, the bronze castings are broken out of the ceramic shell and the plumbing system that guides the metal into the body of the casting is cut off. The castings are then sanded to a mirror polish finish and electroplated with 24 carat gold. The statuette’s base, also cast in bronze, is given a smooth, black finish. After the presentation, a mirror polished engraved bronze plate with each winner’s name and category is attached in the center of the base.”
It took Polich Tallix around 3 months to complete 50 Oscar statuettes.
Dick Polich went to Yale University on a football scholarship and graduated with an economics degree. Before founding his own foundry, Polich had stints working in economics and as a pilot in the Navy. He also studied architecture at Harvard Graduate School of Design and obtained a master’s in metallurgy.
Polich Tallix Fine Art Foundry has been located in Rock Tavern since 1996.