Yesterday was long and busy for all. Elly really enjoyed her parade duties and came home with a new scarf. Bob and Kat had a good time at the comedy show followed by a fantastic dinner of bacon, corn cakes, and watermelon. I learned a lot at the iron pour, but didn’t get all my pieces poured. So the good news / bad news is that we don’t have an iron sign for Brindejon Barn or an Iron wolf. But we will have those pieces poured in bronze in a couple weeks. Bronze is much prettier so overall it’s a plus. Captured some very interesting pictures yesterday, so will share them here.
First is Elly with her new scarf.
Next are some scenes from the iron pour. First were the sand block etchings. These are a sand resin mixture where you scratch out a reverse of the image you want. Interesting learning process. Kat’s picture is indented, Brindejon is protruding. Since they only had really small blocks yesterday, I got to learn how to make a mold, use fancy table saws, make the sand / resin mixture, and use a mixer with a 3 foot long shaft. Think hand held kitchen mixer on steroids. And then I got to help everyone else make their own sand resin / mixtures, taught visitors to the sculpture school how to do the etching, and generally spent hours working hard. Here are the resin blocks.
The iron pour started about 6:30 pm. Prior to that a batch of big strong guys broke old bath tubs into chips of iron. These got tossed into a large furnace with raw coke — that is high quality coal. You can see the iron chips and the furnace.
Once the metal was hot, it flowed out from a spigot near the bottom of the furnace. They had lots of problems with this iron pour. It was not melting correctly, so it burst into flames and hardened at inconvenient times. This meant that some pieces got incomplete pours because it was not flowing and a lot of metal got wasted. It took a long time with lots of stops / problems all the way through. For the final pour at 11:30 pm (which should have been at 9:00 pm), the iron did not come out the spigot at all. Instead, the bottom of the furnace had gotten cold or something had not burned right leading to half hardened iron. The last pour did not happen and they ended up making a hOle at the bottom of the furnace. Lots of metal pieces, coal, and molten metal poured out the bottom, igniting into flames as it was exposed to the air. I didn’t get a good picture of those flames; but did get a few from earlier points in the pour. It’s dangerous stuff, the iron is molten at 2600 degrees.
Overall it was an exciting time, I’m going to learn lots at this sculpture academy. I did pick up some hints on how to do acrylic paintings and making straight lines with the paints. First, I need to thin the paints, I’m putting the paint on too thick. Second, I need a good stiff brush. Evidently the really good brushes (60-100 dollars each) can be worth buying. They work much better. Finally, big pieces are selling better than small pieces. Evidently the only people buying art are the really rich and they like dramatic pieces. The final photo is the picture of a dog watching this event, I like the composition.