The golden trophies that are given out at tonight’s Academy Awards will be made in NY for the first time. After using a Chicago manufacturer since 1982, The Academy awarded the prestigious job of manufacturing the trophies to Polich Tallix located upstate in Rock Tavern, NY.
In 2015 the Academy sought to return to the original process of lost wax cast bronze for reasons of tradition and quality. They chose Polich Tallix as the place to start anew.
The production process for the Oscar statue can be seen on the company website.
Production time to make 50 statuettes took about three months. The completed gold plated statuette on its base is 13.5 inches tall and weighs about 8.5 pounds.
The foundry was excited to be making the statues for a global event like the Oscar awards. “Polich Tallix has made many of such awards honoring all manners of accomplishment but never before,” says founder Dick Polich, “an object of such renowned and instant recognition.”
While Polich Tallix made the solid bronze castings, they were then sanded to a mirror polish finish and electroplated with 24 karat gold at Epner Technology in Brooklyn NY.
Epner Technology has done gold plating on bronze castings for such renowned artists as Mathew Barney and George Condo, and has had a long relationship as a gold plating supplier to Polich Tallix.
Epner used its laser technology to gold plate the statues. Epner, founded in 1910, originally developed Laser Gold for Xerox and later modified the process for NASA Spacecraft. The Oscars chose Epner to help return the Statues to their original art form and legendary luster. Deposited by electroplating, Laser Gold is a pure 24 kt gold that is also three times harder than ordinary pure gold.
“This is the first time that this unique plating process was specified for the Oscars,” said David Epner, President, Epner Technology.
Hand delivered to Epner’s Brooklyn factory from the Polich foundry, the first step in the process was to polish the raw bronze. Each Oscar was then racked, electro-cleaned, copper plated, bright nickel plated and immediately immersed in the Laser Gold Plating tank. The entire cycle took more than six hours each.