Our first exhibition of the season opens September 10th at the James Brooks Gallery in Wallman Hall, Fairmont State University. It’s an alumni show, check the link below- http://ow.ly/ovQ6Q http://ow.ly/ovQcV
Rubber and Plaster Molds for Waxes
The Sculpture II students are learning how to make make two and three part molds of their original objects, so they can pull wax positives for lost-wax investment castings. A few shots here show projects in various stages, from making the molds, to pulling the waxes, to spruing up the wax systems to be invested in a plaster/sand concoction. Ultimately, these will be burned out and filled with bronze or aluminum at the metal foundry at West Virginia University.
Fairmont State Foundations
It’s that time again, and our talented 3D Foundations students at Fairmont State University have not disappointed. With only a few rolls of masking tape and two weeks of class time, these artists recreate custom footwear, keeping a direct 1-1 scale with their source shoes. For more information on how the 3D and Sculpture department is progressing, follow my blog!
Student work from 3D Design and Sculpture I at FSU
The first semester of the new sculpture program wrapped up last thursday with final critiques, and the students rose to the occasion. Lots of sweat and tears, but only minimal blood, so that’s a plus. The 3D students researched and built scaled-up pieces in the style of Claes Oldenburg, using mostly foam, paint, and some found objects. Scale was critical, and they pulled it off. The Sculpture classes had the opportunity to build a sculptural table, with function being optional. There was a broad range of outcomes, from finely crafted functional furniture to interesting sculpture.
FSU-WVU Iron Pour
The inaugural Fairmont State Iron Pour was resounding success, and everyone who participated had a blast, literally. We want to thank our com-padres from WVU who made the trip down to our foundry to make some hot iron art, and we definitely expect to expand on this great collaborative event. We also want to thank all of the businesses who donated materials and equipment to help get our endeavor off and running, and the faculty and staff at Fairmont State University who bent over backwards to give us the space to pull this off. Dylan Collins, Sculpture Faculty at WVU and I will be presenting some of our research at the Nor’Easter Cast Iron Conference in Buffalo in a few weeks, then we plan on implementing some more iron pours into our curriculum, as well as the bronze and aluminum foundry processes-
Firing up the furnace, making molds, breaking iron
Here are some images of the Iron Cupola and it’s components being installed at the Fairmont State University Foundry with it’s new lining. After the ceramic material is rammed into place and dried, we brought it up to melting temperature. Basically it’s a 12″ chimney stack with some real high-fire refractory to protect the walls, some forced air inlets, pour and slag holes, and a trap door on the bottom. The large chunks of burning embers at the bottom are remaining lumps of “coke” or the high-temp fuel for the operation. We will actually be able to reclaim that fuel and use it for the pour. Excitement is building, iron is being broken up, and the sand molds are being made in advance of the 10/26 pour that is scheduled. Contact me with any questions about the process or our operation-
The Iron Cupola is being pulled out of retirement
In a collaborative effort with West Virginia University, the Sculpture department at Fairmont State University is working towards completion of our cast iron foundry. The furnace or “cupola” melts iron in temperatures up to 3000 Fahrenheit, and is a labor-intensive endeavor on its own, so the additional prep work of cleaning and re-lining the rust covered hulking steel contraption will require many hours I don’t seem to have anymore. Luckily, the faculty, staff, and students at WVU and Fairmont State are chomping at the bit to get this project up and running so we can pour hot iron by the end of October. A few pics are attached of the furnace in it’s current state, I will continually update the progress as we move along this fall-