Sunday, November 20, 2011

Lava in Buckets (Video)

Video footage of the advanced sculpture students and the foundry students pouring iron. The newest pour team members watch before they pour for the first time on a later date.

Sorry it's so vertical. It made sense when I was filming it.

(Here's the blog post about that day).


Lava in Buckets

So. I have joined the Pour team at school, and in preparation for the GA State Iron Pour we have safety training!

The noobs didn't get to pour today, only watch. So I got awesome pictures! I also shot some videos and will upload those at some point.

Anyway, the first step before we set up the furnace and things is to actually have a mold to practice on.

My class and I had some we'd made around dry ceramic clay, but they didn't slide out like we'd planned, so we had to break them out.


Then, we bind them up and put the pour cup and vents on them. You have to make sure that both the mold and the cup are flush against each other when you glue them together. The video will show some of the iron leaking out of gaps in some of the molds. (But not mine!)

Then it's time to heat up the furnace!

Then at a certain point we add the small pieces of iron and fuel (called coke) and the metal melts down...

...then you pour it in the buckets!

The pros went first and poured some of the scratch blocks.

Here's the molds where the iron leaked out the sides all over the place. And that's when the people with the shovels cover the mess up with sand.

And eventually all of the molds are filled and the bottom of the furnace is dropped out to begin clean up.

So basically it's all very scary and hot and there's lava.

On the 3rd is when my fellow novices and I get to suit up and give it a shot, which means that on the 10th at GA State I will only have done it all once before when we show off in front of everybody.

I'll get that video uploaded.

(Later that night: the video is here!)


Friday, November 4, 2011

Soreness-Inducing Art and Other Challenges

So, we're hammering our metal bowls. It's pretty neat. We start off with a completely flat sheet of metal, and essentially hammer it until it's a bowl.

There's a little technique involved, but that's basically it.

It's kind of awesome, though. You have to hammer every inch of the metal, overlapping your strokes slightly, in a circular pattern from the inside out.

And then you do that 10 times. Or at least until the bowl is 3 inches deep.

There's also 4 of us in the class sharing one anvil.

Luckily in between each round you have to bouge it on the mushroom stake to make it not an oval, hammer the inside on the sand bag to make it not lumpy, anneal it to make it hammerable again, pickle it to make it not covered in firescale, and cross peen the edges to thicken them.
Then you can hammer again.

So the whole 3 people at once thing just happened that one time.
Well, we do all have about 8 more rounds left, so it'll actually probably happen again.

Ze hammer! Polished by me and marked with my initials!

Ze mushroom stake! For ze bouging!

Ze pickle! For ze cleaning! And also for ze bowls to get to know one another...

Ze example bowl! To make us feel bad!
Though I think mine looks pretty good :P

Sort of lumpy on the inside, but that's okay.

Anyway, one of the bad things about hammering (and how many bad things could there be?!) is it makes your arms TIRED. Like, you can only hammer in 30-second intervals. It's really awful. And then your arm is all sore, and your thumb hurts from holding the metal in place and it never ever ends.

Also something that never ends...

Hollowing out giant, delicate ceramic women sculptures.

It's a mess. And pretty much has to be completed by next week. And then it has to dry, which takes forever, before it can even go in the kiln. Or else it will explode! Which is bad.

On a positive note, when I was walking to Typography, I saw my dudes in the display case!
Only one of them though. And the word Dizzy, but that's okay!

Speaking of Typography, I have revamped my stationary!
Only slightly, but it looks a lot better!

Pretty much I just added a strip of wood grain to everything, and made the inside of the envelope, but it has such a different feel to it that matches the restaurant much better.