I am very disappointed to be making this entry. You may have noticed the total lack of posts / images related to the course I have been taking (Foundry Process in Sculpture). Initially, I could not have been more psyched about this course. The instructor of this continuing ed course is extremely knowledgeable, open to new ideas – and very innovative. The shop is outfitted with virtually every metal working tool known to man…
The big BUT is, that after our initial – labor intensive – sand casting & metal pour night there has not been another one like it. Actually, we have not been able to pour any metal (aluminum or bronze) because their most awesome new burn-out kiln – is still not working.
So, we have all been busy making wax models and coating them with investment. All the while being told that everything would work out and we would get to finish our work.
You might remember a similar situation in the movie, Money Pit. Every time Tom Hanks or Shelley Long ask when their house re-build is going to be finished – the answer is always the same – 2 weeks!
Well, the last night of this 9 week course was this past Monday and no kiln. It is surprising to me that the class was ever even offered for the Spring semester. I found out the first night of class during our tour that the replacement was in progress (it was pretty obvious since there was a huge hole in the wall and the entire basement floor was just above freezing at the time).
Something must have gone wrong somewhere on the drawing board because even though this project started along with the semester, rumor has it that the required inspections are what is holding up completion.
And that is just the inspections. The kiln needs to be run through a couple of test runs and burn in. After that, a trial run with actual ceramic invested wax objects (hopefully, not mine) since this particular arrangement has not been used within the facility. The old system was tried and true, but the new manner of supporting the ceramic shells may present some challenges.
You might be asking yourself – what does a burn-out kiln have to do with pouring molten metal? Well, since the kiln relies on the same systems (electric, HVAC, gas, etc.) as the rest of the equipment – it had to all be shut down. The old kiln was removed in pieces, so no falling back on that as a last resort either.
I wish I could tell you that it is just a matter of time before things are back in full working order. The only feedback I have gotten to my recent inquiries is a link to a questionnaire that might lead to a focus group forum invitation (perhaps on my second try? I did not hear anything after submitting the same form a couple of weeks ago).
Not sure how the regular day crowd is dealing with this situation, but if you are planning on taking any continuing education courses… I wish that I had asked a few more questions. Although, it’s probably just a matter of another – 2 weeks!