BRONZE POUR

BRONZE POUR

By: Darrelyn L. Tutt

Last night we were invited to a bronze "pour" whereby we watched the remarkable process of bronze being melted and translated into hungry, naked molds; part of the extraordinary process of sculpture-casting.
 We watched individuals garbed in heavy leather, wearing welding masks, and heavy aprons transport, translate, and heat up bronze in a great cauldron to 2100° (the double 00's are correct.)
We surveyed a curious and serious scene composed of five masked and busy "bee-keepers" (that's what they looked like) for about forty-five minutes, absolutely amazed and intrigued by the enormity and severity of it all.
I felt like we'd been invited into a Sci-fi scene of Darth Vader-costumed men leading us into an afterworld of strange glowing time machines.
Absolutely magnificent!
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Once the bronze was heated up to 2100° and the dross was removed and ladled off, it was allowed to cool to 1900° and finally deemed "pourable".
A great pulley system, operated manually by two men, lifted the great cauldron out of the heat and maneuvered it over the top of the empty, waiting sculpture molds which were supported by sand in a great iron holding tank. A spout in the cauldron was then positioned directly over the molds enabling bright, orange-flowing lava to escape from the hot cauldron's mouth and be emptied ... something akin to thick, boiling pumpkin soup.
One sculpture mold at a time, the pot heaved out generous portions of bronze boiling stew into the open-mouthed molds.
A great iron spatula scraped out the "bowl" and cleaned it out entirely; and then the pulleys returned the empty cauldron to it's slow cooling burner while the sound of popcorn "popping" could be heard from within the molds, due to the force and pressure of the cooling bronze.
The time for sitting, settling, and cooling had come.
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 I stood spellbound at the end, utterly captivated by the bronze "pour" experience.
The process of sculpting intrigues me to a greater and growing degree, literally, and involves so much more than a Sculptor's gifted hands and imaginative mind:
2100° is required along with the work of the busy "bee-keepers."
It takes dreadful heat and many men, in the end, to complete a work of art.
The same can be said for the soul.

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And I think to myself ...
 In one night an education was provided me because it had been sought.
I looked for the experience, asked for it, claimed it, and then the bronze pour experience became my own and shared with my best friend.
My understanding of art is now magnified.
My appreciation for the Sculptor is intensified.
My soul is both gratified and mystified.
  I'm left wide-eyed and electrified.
Bronze pour impact.
An education will do that for you.
Explore new worlds ...
Experience a "bronze pour" of your own.
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