Oscar: Making A Winner

Oscar first graced the award podium on May 16 1929 at the first Academy Awards ceremony. Since it’s debut performance, over 3,000 of the golden statuettes have been placed in the trembling hands of its winners.

The current prestigious statuette is formed by fine art foundry Polich Tallix. The appearance of knight figure (designed by Cedric Gibbons) has remained relatively unchanged during its lifetime, however in 2016 features were smoothed out as the result of 3D modelling.

Oscar measures 34.29cm (13.5 inches) tall and weighs around 3.86kg (8.5 pounds). Previously cast in bronze, the trophy moved to britannia metal and plated in gold before returning to its bronze roots in 2015.

The first act of Oscar’s production is the creation of his ceramic shell, which is then suspended from a network of pipes. This plumbing system delivers the bronze (heated to over 1015°C/1860°F) to form the figure.

Breaking out of his ceramic constraints, Oscar is the sanded and polished before being electroplated with 24 karat gold by Epner Technology in Brooklyn, N.Y. The base of this tremendous trophy is also cast in bronze and details a film reel with five spokes, representing the Academy’s original branches: actors, directors, producers, technicians and writers.

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