For a team offsite at work, we went to the The Crucible. The Crucible is an awesome place where you can do crazy crafts like foundry (melting metal and pouring it into molds), glass working, blacksmithing, welding, jewelery making, neon and more.
For our offsite, we did glass flameworking and foundry. Unfortunately, I didn’t get any pictures of the glass flameworking, but I do have pictures of the foundry.
We started by carving our molds in reverse out of blocks of compressed very fine sand. Mine are a hamsa and the letter “P” done somewhat ornately that you can see at the top of this post.
We’re going to be using a furnace like above. Here’s a picture while it’s cool. When it gets hot, it’s more difficult to see the actual parts because it’s glowing so much.
Next we heated up the metal in a very hot furnace.
You’re required to wear a crazy Back To The Future style suit if you’re going to be near the heat.
Put the metal into the furnace. You let the metal sit on top of the furnace for a bit to dry it out because you don’t want to be putting any water into the furnace or can produce little pops and spray you with hot stuff.
Now we’re ready to pour.
You can see how quickly the metal sets. You gotta be quick here!
One person on our team decided to do a two sided mold where you pour into the hole.
And one more gratuitous pouring picture. Love that color!
Here we have all the molds filled. Some close ups of the filled molds:
You can see they crack just a bit. This doesn’t really make much of a difference in the final product which has an organic feel to it anyways due to the sand.
Once the molds are cool, you crack the sand to pop the metal out and then clean off your metal. I unfortunately don’t have any photos of it, but your piece is usually black from charred sand and you have to wash it thoroughly (my hands were messy from cleaning so I couldn’t take photos).
And then you get the finished product! Check out this post for the finished product.