Fabrication of the portrait of Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah using aluminium welding, chasing and repoussé techniques

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July, 2016
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Aluminium welding is not usually practised by artists in the fabrication of photorealistic portraits. The commonest technique that is used by artists in Ghana is the clay and cement model which can further be used to create a cast resin or metal. The researcher investigated the most used material and technique for creating realistic busts. The pros and cons of materials and technique was analysed in comparison to aluminium forming and welding. The penultimate aim of this exercise was the production of a portrait of Ghana’s first president and freedom activist Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah. This portrait was made entirely of shaped and formed aluminium, joined by using the aluminium welding technique. The whole metal bust was formed by embossing, chasing and repoussé. The study discovered the usefulness of laser cutting machine and the urgent need for such equipment at the Metals Section for cutting intricate designs and large scale designs which cannot be cut using the jewellers’ saw frame. The successful execution of this project, has established the fact that aluminium welding technique can also be used to produce representation of a figure aside the usual materials such as clay and cement used by local artist.
This thesis submitted to the Department of Industrial Art, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Fine Art (Jewellery and Metalsmithing),