Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Casting Bronze

Today in my sculpture class, we cast bronze.  A few weeks ago we created small wax sculptures that we then coated in a slurry (over and over and over...).  The slurry hardens and creates a thick coating that the bronze is then poured into, after the wax is melted out.  Here are some pictures from class.  My teacher is doing most of it, with the help of a few of my classmates. (I apologize for the graininess of the pictures. Took them on my phone.)

1. Pulling the molten bronze out of the furnace-

2. Scraping the imperfections off of the top of bronze-

3. Taking the internal temperature of the bronze (about 1100*F)

4. Pouring the bronze into the sculpture molds-

5. The molten bronze inside the sculpture molds.  It's hard to see it, but it's actually emanating that bright light because it's so hot.
Something pretty intense and "exciting" (as my teacher put it) happened while we were pouring the bronze.  Some moisture must have been in the mold, and bronze blew up and sprewed little balls of flaming metal out everywhere.  No one got hurt, but one classmate had a smoking arm where the bronze hit her protective jacket.  Man, it scared us all.

We weren't able to cast all of the sculptures today, so we're going to cast ours on Thursday.  I'm excited to see how the sculptures come out!

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