Bas-Relief Portraits: Hand-Carved Bronze Plaques

Masterwork Plaques can provide a large range of options when translating imagery, graphics and portraits into cast bronze plaques.  One of the most unique and artistic methods we use is what is called a “bas-relief” technique.  This hand carving technique is a time-intensive, one-of-a-kind process, created with help from our studio’s experienced clay artists. “Bas-relief” is a traditional method of low relief sculpture, and is often found on historic bronze plaques. While it is most often associated with portraits, it can be used for logos, architectural renderings and depictions of plants, animals and people. Bas-relief imagery adds an authenticity and character to your cast bronze plaque project that can't be matched.

The bas-relief carving process starts with an image.  When creating portrait plaques, we ask our customers to provide an image of the person they are looking to memorialize in bronze.  We then share this image with our clay artists and after sitting with the portrait; they attempt to capture the person’s features, smile and unique qualities in clay.  Our studio works closely with both our clients and sculptors to ensure that the carving has a true likeness to the subject. 

Once the clay carving is complete, our designers mold the carving using a two-part rubber mold, and finally cast it again in plastic.  This gives us a more sturdy relief pattern that is safe for casting in bronze.  After the portrait plaque is cast in bronze, we then finish our bronze plaques with a true chemical patina, so that the bronze plaque will last for years, without the risk of peeling or chipping.

 Important notes for Bas-Relief Portrait Plaques

  • The subjects face must be at least 6” high from chin to crown.
  • The provided image must be of high quality with minimal pixilation, blurriness, and shadowing.
  • Two rounds of revisions are included, to ensure a true likeness to the subject.
  • Manufacturing time is approximately 8-10 weeks after the order is placed. 

Bas-relief carvings are a great way to differentiate your plaque from the mass-produced signage and template based memorial plaques that too often dominate in the plaque-making industry.  Our studio has created portrait plaques, historical markers, and even architectural renderings using bronze bas relief.  Masterwork Plaques is committed to revolutionizing the plaque making business, from a field with mass-produced signage and standard template based plaques, into an industry where each plaque is created from unique designs and materials of the finest quality.