So, What’s Going on Here Anyway ?!?
‘Tis the season for FeLion Studios’ 4th Annual “Pour’n Yer Heart Out” pre-Valentine’s Day iron pour, happening on February 9th 2013 in our favorite parking lot at Sector67, here in Madison WI.
This event is our 4th annual public iron pour open to all ages of people interested and intrigued by metal casting. We’ll be graced by loads of residual activities this day, including tasty samples of HOPOTHESIS Beer Co.’s IPA, complimentary on-site seasoning for the first 5 purchases of our Wisconsin cast iron skillets that will be for sale throughout the event. My brother, DJ DAN, is coming into town to lay down some festival-making beats, and of course I’m joined by my special tribe of other cast iron artists from all over the Midwest to help run this year’s ho-down.
Most importantly, FeLion Studios will help share all this communal love that day by offering pre-made sand moulds to carve designs into for those in the community who want to get in on the action of iron casting. Below are images of this year’s 2 mould designs for you to choose from :
HEART MOULDS : $30 ~ roughly 4×4 in, holds about 2#’s of ironeach.
TESSELLATION MOULD: $25 ~ roughly 6×6 in, also 2#’s of iron each .
You want one, right !? Both styles of sand mould are now available for pre-sale and pickup from now ’till the event at Sector67, located at 2100 Winnebago Street, TEL: 608.241.4605. Feel free to stop in anytime and pick yours out to get carving on it right away. We highly advise grabbing these early, as sand carving takes some time, & no one likes to see creativity rushed ;}
TIPS AND TRICKS for carving your sand moulds :
There are 3 major rules to follow that will lead to a successful iron tile creation :
1) Write any words & numbers BACKWARDS !! Sand moulds are not your final product. The casting are the reverse of whatever you carve into the sand.
2) Leave at least 1 inch of sand between whatever you carve and the edge of the mould. You can go 1/2 inch deeper than the impression of the shape, but nothing deeper ! Thin sand moulds may result in beakage, as anything under 1 inch thickness is too weak to withstand the 2800 deg molten metal that we pour into them.
3) Be creative ! Feel free to go outside the lines ~ especially on the heart moulds ! The tessellation pattern has a second agenda for that day, but don’t feel stiffled by that . If you have an awesome idea that you want to fulfill on this one ~ go for it.
***Tip 1 : Draw your design/ image / words / ideas on paper first. If you need to reverse the image because you have words, put the drawing up onto a window and trace the design onto the back of the paper. You can use this initial tracing as a visual to help you create the final carving on the sand mould.
***Tip 3 : Now you’re ready to carve into your sand ! This is no small feat, make sure to wear some safety glasses and a dust mask, as flying grains of sand LOVE to find your eyeballs, and sand dust isn’t very nice to breath in either.
***Tip 4 : Everything you scratch from the sand will fill with iron ~ Some good tools to use are anything metal like long sharp nails, old chisels you don’t care to destroy, or if you’re feeling fancy, dremels with carbide or diamond tips. ( **expect these bits to die after working with them on sand ). We HIGHLY encourage you to stretch the limits and GO OUTSIDE THE LINES !! Just stay within an inch from the edge and bottom of the mould ! *** you have 1/2 of depth to carve into before it’s too far ***.
*** Tip 5 : Think about what you want to do with it when your done. Do you want to hang it on the wall ? Lay it into cement or epoxy and make a plaque? Use it as a trivet ? You can put finishing touches on these in the mould by scratching a small “loop” above your impression to create a metal hole for it to hang off of . Or carve away a flange or tabs on the outside rim of your shape to make a catch on the back of the final piece for setting into epoxy. If you want to set things, like a teapot, onto your creation, try to carve all your details to the same depth for a level surface that is easy to finish grind it flat after.
Hope these tips help you think about how you will make what your design is. Here’s a snippet of past hearts to look at for further inspiration. Good luck and happy making!