Series highlights the creative possibilities of bronze

  • Jul. 23, 2014 4:46 p.m.

BEAUTIFUL BRONZE – Trevor Danbrook pours molten bronze into a ceramic mold during a demonstration of Red Deer College’s bronze working facilities and foundries on Monday.

As part of Red Deer College’s Series Summer Art School, Interim Dean of RDC’s School of Creative Arts, Jason Frizzell hosted a stunning demonstration of the school’s metal working facilities on Monday.

Frizzell, assisted by Series students, demonstrated how the medium of liquid bronze could be heated up and poured to make sculptures and other items such as jewelry.

The demonstration showed how bronze is heated at extremely high temperatures, then poured into a mold made of ceramic and a cement-like substance called silica.

The molds were made by students during the two-week summer art class taught by Frizzell called the ‘Bronze Casting Lost Wax Method’.

The class takes this year’s group of students through every stage of bronze casting starting with raw, unworked wax, which is then made into a sculpture, after which the ceramic mold is poured around the wax.

“The wax is then melted out of the mold, leaving you with an empty ceramic mold,” explained Frizzell. “We then fill the mold with the bronze – so the step you witnessed today is pouring the molten bronze into the mold.”

The course gives students the chance to experience the ancient art of bronze casting using RDC’s state-of-the-art foundry facilities.

Frizzell said after the demonstration how, “RDC easily has the best bronze casting system out of any post secondary institution in the province, and while there are some commercial facilities who have equal if not slightly better set-ups because that’s their main source of income, in terms of post secondary institutions there’s nothing even close to what we have here anywhere else in the province.

“We want our students to be able to leave our class – whether it be a two-week long Series course or a semester long course – and be able to work in a commercial foundry and have the skills needed not to feel lost and understand the processes.”

The demonstration and the medium of bronze itself highlights one of the many opportunities artists are taking part in as they create and explore their passions through Red Deer College’s diverse art programs.

The Series offers courses in a variety of mediums such as painting, drawing, sculpture, mixed media, metal-smithing, ceramics, photography, jewelry making and more.

This year’s Series also hosts a variety of one-day workshops as a way for participants to get a feel for different mediums.

For most students taking part in the many courses offered, it will be their first time working with that specific medium, and students of all skill levels are encouraged to register, especially those with no previous experience.

For more information visit www.rdc.ab.ca/continuing-education/summer-rdc/series-summer-arts-school.

jswan@reddeerexpress.com

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