The original Oscar statuette was sculpted in 1928 by Los Angeles artist George Stanley. The first statuettes were cast in bronze by Guido Nelli at the California Bronze Foundry.
In 2015 the Academy sought to return to the original process of lost wax cast bronze for reasons of tradition and quality. They chose UAP Polich Tallix as the place to start anew. While the essence of the sculpture has never changed, over the years small changes had crept in. Of particular importance was the subtle softening of the statuette’s features. After a review between the Academy and the foundry, it was decided to start by scanning a classic Oscar from 1928 as well as the modern Oscar used in 2015. These two scans were then blended to make the 2016 design closer to George Stanley’s original Art Deco sculpture. This new design, which is used to this day, 2016 Oscar married the best features of the classic Oscar to the contemporary form of the modern Oscar through 3-D modeling. This new design was then 3-D printed in wax.
The waxes are 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 karat gold. Production time for 50 statuettes is about three months. The completed gold plated statuette on its base is 13.5 inches tall and weighs about 8.5 pounds.
We are excited to be continuing this highly esteemed, long-established tradition of honoring accomplishment with a cast object created by an artist.