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Sand/Foam/Mold Casting Aluminum
This area of artistic expression came about by me being bored one day at work and cruising YouTube for something to bide my time. I hit upon some videos of guys melting aluminum and pouring it into fire ant nests to create some fantastically wild castings. Having an abundance of fire ants in my yard and spare time, I watched more YouTubes and set about trying multiple ways to make a home-built forge that would melt aluminum in sufficient quantities. During my trial and error journey through several unsuccessful experimental forges, I also happened upon videos demonstrating ancient sand casting and it’s modern cousin, foam casting which I found quite interesting. Once I finally created a propane-fueled home forge that actually worked efficiently, I decided to put it all together as a medium for my sculpture. Foam casting entails creating whatever you want out of solid insulation foam, packing casting sand tightly around it, and pouring hot aluminum into the mold. The high heat of the molten metal instantly destroys the flammable foam in a dramatic explosive orange and black fireball of smoke and flame which is why my wife typically stays safely in the house ready to dial 911. Because it is liquid, the molten aluminum will flow by gravity to fill the void left by the destroyed and vaporized foam. The end result is typically true to the form of the original foam shape with a rough texture that makes each piece unique and non-reproduceable.
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