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Luted Crucible Jewelry Casting Workshop
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Date: August 18, 9:00 am
Location: The Art Studio; 111 Elk Ave Crested Butte, CO 81224
Details:

Discover the Luted Crucible method of lost-wax metal casting while creating your own jewelry. During a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity over three days, work with pure beeswax, fine clay, silica sand, rice hulls, charcoal, pure copper, and tin to make a bronze alloy, which is fired in an outdoor, below ground level charcoal fired furnace.

When: Workshop from Saturday – Monday, August 18 – 20 

Time:  9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. 

Cost: $375

REGISTER 

The focus of this workshop is learning to turn beeswax into bronze. Working with natural materials, create beeswax models of jewelry items (rings, bracelets, etc.). Next, build clay molds and form clay crucibles (the vessels that have been used since antiquity to transform copper and tin into bronze). Once we connect the mold to the crucible, we will have formed the “Luted Crucible.” Next, with a charcoal-fired, below-ground-level furnace, heat our Luted Crucibles to over 2,200 degrees Fahrenheit, magically transforming our ephemeral wax models into timeless bronze objects! The Luted Crucible technique is a preindustrial process known to have been in use for at least the last thousand years.  It is still in use today in parts of India and West Africa, although it remains almost unknown in Europe and North America. Warning, this ancient process is highly addictive!
 
Again, the focus of the workshop will be to turn beeswax into bronze. This transformative process begins on the morning of the first day with a brief introduction and demonstration. After the introduction, we will work with beeswax to make small jewelry or other objects. To these we will add sprues, and then create the molds, attach our metal filled crucibles to the molds, and let the Luted Crucibles dry overnight. If some of these terms are unfamiliar now they won’t be by the end of the first day!
 
On the morning of the second day, we will add a final layer of clay to the Luted Crucibles, and we will begin casting that afternoon. Each student is in charge of casting your own work. You will be guided through the steps needed to understand when your metal is molten and ready to cast, how to remove your Luted Crucible safely from the furnace, and how to invert it so that the metal flows down into your mold. Once the bronze has cooled, you will be shown the correct way to open a Luted Crucible. After your cast is complete, you will have the option to stay and watch the remaining work be cast, or take the rest of the afternoon off. 
 
The morning of the final day will begin with a demonstration of how to remove the investment, how to correctly use a hacksaw and file to remove the sprues, and how to polish your piece. We will end with a demonstration on how to make and use two very basic patinas (brown and blue/green). After the demonstration we will work on finishing our pieces until it's time to drink tea, tell jokes, exchange contact information and give everyone a chance to admire each other’s work.
 
In addition, on the evenings of Day 1 & Day 3, the instructor, Piers Watson, will give optional presentations entitled "Bastar Metal Casters" and "Metal Casters of Burkina Faso and Ghana," which help put this ancient process into context. The talk "Bastar Metal Casters" is about the community who practices this art form and how the casting process is totally integrated into their surrounding environment and their society in a way that we, as artists, seldom experience. The talk "Metal Casters of Burkina Faso and Ghana" is about the way these artists have fused ancient and contemporary metal casting practices together, allowing them to survive as casters in a global economy.
 
Food: There will be approximately an hour each day for lunch. Please bring a packed lunch and plenty to drink as well as snacks to eat during the day. Each day is long and we will be covering a lot of information very quickly so you'll need to keep your energy levels up!
 
Additional Important Info for Workshop Registrants:
 

 


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Upcoming Events
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