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Sunday, September 03, 2006

Red hot molten bronze

A friend invited us over to watch him pour bronze today---he especially wanted my husband to be his number one helper (I think the term was dead-guy for some reason!) The actual pour and process was quite interesting, but the standing around waiting part was a bit of a drag... I could see this process being much more desirable during a cold winter day, but a hot summer day with the heat involved in melting metal makes for quite the sauna! I was lucky being assigned to be the digital photographer I didn't have to suit up like my husband did. He put on a leather apron that extended to his ankles and strapped around his legs like chaps. Next he had heat proof gaiters he wrapped around his ankles & over his heavy leather boots. The upper body was enclosed in this reflective silver jacket, fastened tight over the chest & he then wore a pull-down mirrored face shield. Oh, sure, lets put this on while it's almost 90ยบ out and lift heavy red hot crucibles of molten bronze!!

We were there almost 3 hours---waiting for the bronze to melt, everything to heat correctly, and finally 2 different pouring events. The artist was making plaques to be placed on a bench as a memorial for a friend. The couple that commissioned these plaques were there to watch the process, and oddly enough the friend that is being memorialized was there too---a gentle kind musician that's fighting lung cancer. He'd just recently found out he had another year added onto his life expectancy. I guess he wasn't supposed to still be alive today, but is fighting a good battle. Unfortunately the noise of the foundry made conversation difficult, so it wasn't easy to chat.

The camera I was running wasn't ours, so hopefully they'll send us some photos I can share.

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