PHOTOS: How the 2016 Oscar statuettes are made

After molten bronze is cast into the ceramic mold, the Oscars® are cut loose from their plumbing systems and sanded and polished by hand. ( Dorith Mous / ©A.M.P.A.S.)

HUDSON VALLEY, NY (WCMH) — There’s a big change to the statuettes you’ll see at the Academy Awards this year.

Since 1983, every single Oscar has been made at the R.S. Owens plant in Chicago. But this year, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences decided to move the process to a new company located about an hour and a half from Albany, New York.

While the location is being changed, the process is mostly the same. So how do they make the most recognized award in Hollywood?

It all starts with a 3D printed Oscar image. That is then used to make a rubber mold which is then used to create a ceramic shell.

The ceramic shell is then filled with wax and attached to a plumbing system. That’s then filled with molten bronze to create the metal casting of the statuette.

When the molten bronze is hardened, the Oscars are then sanded and polished by hand.

The plating comes next. The statuettes are first coated in copper, then nickel before being coated with 24 karat gold.

The statues are then polished to a high luster to give them their final appearance for Oscar Sunday.

The only thing missing at this point are the names of the actual winners. Those are attached via nameplates when the winner walks backstage after accepting the award.

The first Oscar was handed out in 1927. Since then, there have been a total of 2,947 awards presented. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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