This project is my response to the millions of gallons of oil spilled into the Gulf of Mexico and the recent nuclear catastrophe at Fukushima Daiichi in Japan.
It's about a legacy; an effect we are having.
The original solid clay pattern was thrown using a steel armature and jig frame built over a Brent electric wheel. Pictured is the seven plaster molds taken from the original clay form.
The wax patterns gated and vented. Indirect pour sprueing systems deliver the bronze to the pattern quite effectively as gravity builds the pressure inside the shells from the weight of the metal behind it coming from the crucible. Indirect systems also delivers the metal from the bottom up allowing the air in the shells to exit smoothly.
This is a photo of me applying the fused silica powder to the wax pattern prior to submerging them into a colloidal silica based slurry.
After the fourth dip and sand, wrap fiberglass strand around the patterns. The fiberglass reinforces the shells and provides strength to hold the weight of the metal inside while it is molten. I've also used paper clips on the edges for extra strength, and fiberglass sheet strips to repair big areas.
These are the bronze castings with all the ceramic shell cleaned off.
I then cut off and ground flush the gates, and sand-blasted the remaining shell off, leaving a very clean and uniform metal surface.
A link to an article focused on Lake Tahoe Community College Metal Arts Program:
Hard Work: Metal casting and fabricating classes at college turn out works of art