Well, if you are doing a project on casting, where better to go and learn about it than a bronze foundry? Castle Fine Arts Foundry offers a one week work experience program for twenty people a year, giving people an overview of the whole bronze casting process. So for a week in March I headed off to the small village of Llanrhaeadr ym Mochnant in Wales (fortunately I pre-booked a taxi so I didn’t have to try to pronounce it!).
I already had an idea of the process involved from doing the 5 day course at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park last year, so I jumped around the process more than most people probably would. It gave me a great opportunity to build on the knowledge I already had and to fill in the gaps. I worked in all areas of the foundry, mould making on some of Laura Ford’s cats (see images below), as well as some other artist works.
I learnt more about working in wax and spruing up the moulds.
I poured a couple of crucibles of bronze and watched a few more pours, as well as one of aluminium.
I sliced the neck off a grouse (can’t remember the artist’s name) and welded it back on again and put the texture back in.
I then played around with patination and waxing on the grouse.
All in all, a very informative week, from which I think I now know everything I need to know to setup a small foundry in my back garden!