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John Sage / FinchHaven Photography Archives

the Foundry, the Sculpture Department,
California State University at Long Beach,
Long Beach California, March 1971

Click for information about Reprints, custom Blurb photo books, and digital photo eBooks

You might also enjoy:

Mexican Mask Folk Art, the Art Galleries, California State University at Long Beach, early 1970s

Epoch Ceramics Inc, Compton California 1974

The High Fire Works studio, Long Beach, California early 1970s

Background (such as I recall it): I was an art major in high school and started at California State College (to become California State University) at Long Beach as an art major. After all the prerequisite drawing, painting and design classes I settled into the Sculpture Department and stayed there. Something about working in three dimensions, and all the technical processes of it were very attractive.

Did a lot of stone-carving, but even more lost-wax bronze casting.

The lost wax process at the scale of largish sculptures is fascinating: make the original sculpture in microcrystaline wax, attach sprues and vents to get the molten bronze in and the gasses out, invest the wax original and its sprues and vents in a cylindrical flask, fire the flask upside down in a kiln to harden/strengthen the investment and drain off/burn off the wax, pull the still-hot flask out of the burnout kiln and pack it in sand while bronze ingots and bronze scrap are in the crucible in a furnace being melted, pull the crucible out, pour the sculpture. The next day when it's completely cooled break the investment off the poured sculpture, hacksaw off the sprues and vents, and begin the final chasing and finishing on the newly-cast sculpture.

Process. Lots of it, with lots of steps, and lots of heat and fire and smoke along the way. What's not to love?

By my senior year I was actually working on the foundry crew. The very first time I worked one ot the pours I was on one end of the two-handled collar that pulls the crucible out of the furnace. The temperature of the crucible was somewhere around 2200 degrees. The heat was simple staggering.

Scanned Ektachrome slides.

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the Foundry, the Sculpture Department, California State University at Long Beach, March 1971

CSULB_Sculpture_Dept_Foundry_Mar_1971_031

The fired investment flasks have had the wax burned out and are being packed into sand for the pour

CSULB_Sculpture_Dept_Foundry_Mar_1971_030

Sprues from previous pours are preheated on the top of the furnace before being dropped into the crucible to melt

CSULB_Sculpture_Dept_Foundry_Mar_1971_002

Opening the furnace lid. Temperature somewhere around 2200 degrees, plus

CSULB_Sculpture_Dept_Foundry_Mar_1971_040

The crucible is lowered down into a second two-handled collar. This collar will be used to control the actual pour

CSULB_Sculpture_Dept_Foundry_Mar_1971_008

Dr Stephen Werlick (red jacket) watches for the flask to fill and will give the word to stop

CSULB_Sculpture_Dept_Foundry_Mar_1971_039

In lost-styrofoam casting, the foam is burned out at the moment the aluminum is poured in

the Foundry, the Sculpture Department, California State University at Long Beach, March 1971

the Foundry, the Sculpture Department, California State University at Long Beach,
Long Beach California, March 1971


Return to FinchHaven Photography Archives: the Nineteen-Seventies: California

Return to FinchHaven Photography Archives: the Nineteen-Seventies

Return to FinchHaven Photography Archives

Tip jar:

Consider a donation to help me continue my work

John Sage / FinchHaven Photography Archives

the Foundry, the Sculpture Department,
California State University at Long Beach,
Long Beach California, March 1971

Click for information about Reprints, custom Blurb photo books, and digital photo eBooks

You might also enjoy:

Mexican Mask Folk Art, the Art Galleries, California State University at Long Beach, early 1970s

Epoch Ceramics Inc, Compton California 1974

The High Fire Works studio, Long Beach, California early 1970s


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