The Oscar statuettes are undergoing a nip and a tuck before they hit the red carpet this year. The Academy Awards announced that it has changed its manufacturers with a view to go back to the trophy from Hollywood’s golden age. As a result, the New York-based Polich Tallix Fine Art Foundry has been tasked with creating the golden man this year.
This means that R.S. Owens and Company from Chicago won’t be carving out the iconic trophy anymore. “We have known about this [move] for quite a few months,” said Joseph Petree, director of design of R.S. Owens, in a phone conversation with Chicago Sun Times. “We assisted the Academy through the transition. They were looking to go back to the bronze statue, which is something we don’t do … I can’t be sad. We’ve been fortunate to make the most recognizable trophy on the planet for 30 years,” he added.
Cheryl Boone Isaacs, Academy Awards president, recently revealed the Academy’s desire to honour the trophy’s great beginnings and rich heritage. “With the help of some 21st century technology, we’re able to honour the Oscar’s proud beginnings. The new statuette exemplifies impeccable craftsmanship and the enduring nature of art,” she disclosed in an official statement.
— The Academy (@TheAcademy) February 16, 2016
Polich Tallix Fine Art Foundry will now revamp the statuettes to resemble the original 1929 one, which was based on sketches of MGM artist Cedric Gibbons and designed by George Stanley, notes The Wrap. There will be no change in the dimensions of the statue, which will stand at 13.5 inches and weight of 8.5 pounds like its predecessors, informs the statement. However, there will be a change in the features, and the iconic statue will repossess subtle features of George Stanley’s original sculpture.
Polich Tallix informs that the original Oscar statuettes were cast in bronze by Guido Nelli at the California Bronze Foundry. The company website reveals that it the manufacturing process is underway already. To start with, Polich Tallix created scans of the old and new statues. The scans were then blended to create the 2016 design, closer to Stanley’s original Art Deco sculpture. Based on the scans, each wax statuette was coated in a ceramic shell. This was cured and fired at 1,600°F, melting the wax away and leaving an empty Oscar-shaped form. The statuettes were then cast in liquid bronze at more than 1,800°F, cooled, and sanded to a mirror polish finish.
Even though the Oscar statues are being produced by a different manufacturer now, the Academy has not ended its relations with R.S. Owens and Company. The Chicago-based company will continue to provide awards, including plaques for lesser-known Scientific and Technical Awards, and to service existing awards, reveals Chicago Tribune.
The 88th Oscars will be telecast on February 28. It will take place at the Dolby Theatre® at Hollywood & Highland Center® in Hollywood.