It takes three days to create a 16-inch-tall work of art at American Fine Arts Foundry in Burbank that weighs as much as a bowling ball — albeit one that Hollywood stars would covet onstage.
In anticipation of the 17th annual Screen Actors Guild awards on Sunday, 75 actor statuettes covered in black clothes await transportation to Shrine Exposition Center in Los Angeles for presentation.
The unassuming white façade of the foundry hides the workspace where the statues come to life, beginning first as red wax in one of two molds used to make the figurines.
This year, Ken Hanke was called in to cast new molds to replace their 16-year-old predecessors.
Hanke, a former employee of the foundry and 41-year industry veteran, tediously created the two molds from platinum-based silicone to reduce shrinkage and ensure the longevity of the casts.
"If a mold maker does his job right, he doesn't get any credit," he said. "You shouldn't even be able to tell I was there."