I participated in a bronze pour last Friday with an alumni group led by Professor John Ventimiglia and sculptor Sandy MacLeod at Maine College of Art in Portland. We had spent the week getting ready...gating our wax pieces (see blog entry for 11/5), putting them in investment molds, and burning out the wax from the molds in the kiln. On Friday we placed the hot molds in wooden flask frames and packed damp sand around the molds to keep them warm and to keep them from splitting open when the bronze was poured into them. We had a 'slight' delay when a sprinkler head let go and showered everything with water. After getting the water shut off, mopping up the floor, drying off the molds and the furnace controls, we finally proceeded with the pour. The following day we broke the pieces out of their molds, cleaned off the investment residue and cut off the gating. All of the pieces I cast came out successfully... the figure and base, the pod birds and nests, and the poppy pods with stems. The next step will be to chase and clean up the gating attachment points and any surface imperfections or flashing. One bird done... and a flock to go!
Cynthia Smith, Maine artist, originally from Connecticut. Taught art at secondary level for 35 years, retired in 2004. Sculpts in bronze, wood, stone, clay & plaster. Her work can be seen at several mid-coast Maine galleries and shows.