The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is fulfilling the task of returning the world-recognized statuette to its roots as a true art object. 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, the art foundry that produced this year’s Oscars. Polich Tallix was able to restore the detail and refinement of the original 1929 Oscar. Epner Technology is able to maintain this detail after “dressing” him in a suite of gold, but not just any gold – Laser Gold.
Epner Technology, founded in 1910, originally developed Laser Gold for Xerox® and later modified the process for NASA Spacecraft. The Oscars chose Epner Technology 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.
Spacecraft, from the earliest GOES weather satellites to the cryogenic cooling systems on the James Webb Space Telescope Cameras, utilize Laser Gold’s ultra-high infrared reflectivity, critical to maintaining thermal control of the on-board instruments by reflecting the sun’s radiant energy back into space. This year’s Oscars will share the same ultra-rich gold and benefit from the durability of Epner Technology’s unique formula.
Hand delivered to Epner’s Brooklyn factory from the 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.