I spent some time around a couple of Bronze foundries. First, at Arizona Bronze, when i was apprenticing with Rudy Fernandez. I got hired to do some sandblasting once or twice. Working under Rudy was a free apprenticeship. He would look out for art jobs for me to make some money on the side. Rudy was friends with Marc D’Ambrosi, the owner, at the time.
My next apprenticeship with John Battenberg, also afforded me some time at the same foundry, but in that case I was there because John would cast his pieces there, at that time. He had previously cast at a foundry in San Jose, but had a falling out with Allen, whom I would later meet, when I had a falling out with John, and moved in to live at that foundry for a couple of years.
Casting has always been cost prohibitive to me, but, nevertheless I am exploring what I can of it now. Starting a while back with this homemade convertible Forge/Furnace I made.
My crucible was a little big at the time, it was a stainless steel garbage can I ended up sacrificing, do to this whole setup having very unpredictable heat. Surprisingly enough to melt a cast iron pot I switched to, as a crucible.
It did work, however. But, then I built a smaller more controllable furnace. The kind that you find plans for on the internet. This one has been more reliable.
I’m upgrading again to using propane as the fuel, instead of charcoal, however.
Forgot to cook my 2 part plaster mold, so this one exploded back out the front, and didn’t fill. I like it though, and may still use it somehow.