Casting metal is a 6,000-year-old process still used in both manufacturing and fine art. The founder melts metal, usually aluminum, bronze and cast iron, in a crucible, pours the liquid metal into a mold, then removes the mold material or the casting once the metal has cooled and solidified.
In our classes, beginners learn the chemistry and basic steps that go into making a piece of cast metal, while advanced classes explore the intricacies of casting and metal finishing.
Begin your exploration of metal casting with this hands-on overview of metal casting introducing foundry processes, including wax sculpting, lost-wax casting, ceramic shell, sand moldmaking, casting and finishing. You will help pour molten metal and complete several cast-metal sculptures or utilitarian objects.
Ceramic shell is a mold material used in the lost wax casting method. Your wax sculpture is clad in a ceramic shell, burned out, and replaced with molten metal. You’ll learn basic wax-working techniques, as well as how to create ceramic shell molds. Finally, you’ll cast your piece in bronze or aluminum and finishing.
Prerequisite: Bronze Casting: Ceramic Shell Process or Foundry Fundamentals. There is an additional cost per pound of wax, shell and metal.
This class is for people with metal-casting experience who have completed waxes to cast. The class explores details of metal casting: you will prepare your wax, dip it to make a ceramic shell mold and participate in a bronze pour.
Build a small propane fueled furnace capable of melting 12 lbs. of bronze or 4 lbs. of aluminum for your next project. The furnace you make in class can easily be operated by one person, measures about 16″x16″x21″ and weighs about 100 lbs. It will include the furnace chamber, burner, a crucible and crucible handling tongs, but does not include the propane tank, hose and regulator. You’ll learn how to safely operate it, and how to approach designing and building furnaces of larger capacities.
Turn your creations into cast metal! Working with resin-bonded sand, you’ll learn the basics as you build your own mold. As part of a casting team, you’ll have the exhilarating experience of pouring molten bronze or aluminum. After your casting cools, you’ll open your mold and finish your piece. Bring a found object or a sculpture that’s smaller than a breadbox to make your impression into the sand. The sculpture can be made of wax, clay, foam, or wood.
This class introduces you to lost-wax and sand casting. You will make an aluminum bell pattern via the lost wax process, then use this reusable pattern to cast bronze bells using the green sand process. The final bell will be about six inches in diameter.
Are you a culinary artist with a penchant for DIY kitchen ware? We’ll lead you through the steps to create a one-of-a-kind waffle iron — from your unique design to casting and finishing this practical and food-safe creation that you’ll get to enjoy for years to come.
Entry-level. Offered yearly.
This workshop takes you from making a mold in sand to completing a finished iron sculpture. You’ll learn mold construction and preparation while building your own sand mold with resin-bonded sand. You’ll learn the steps required to prepare for the cupola iron casting pour. In the final exhilarating event, you’ll prepare iron and coke charges, operate the cupola and pour molten iron into your own sand mold.
Entry-level. Offered twice a year.
The right patina can be the essential finishing touch for your metal project. This hands-on weekend workshop teaches a variety of bronze patination methods and introduces other coatings and applications. Please bring some small pieces to patina. You’ll be able to experiment on small test samples before working on your own pieces.
Entry-level. Tasters Classes make great gifts for a DIYer, or as a unique bonding experience with family and friends. Try two skills on the same day and get a $25 discount and lunch on us!
In this 3-hour Taster in foundry processes, you’ll turn your ideas into cast-metal sculptures as you learn the basics of sand casting.