We were able to see a gentlemen blowing glass while at the Tesuque Glassworks. The glassworks had a display of beautiful perfume bottles, bowls, glassware.
There was a gentleman that was carving wax. A rubber mold will be made from this. The wax piece is then placed in a wooden form and completely covered with a soft plaster. Then the mold is left to dry. It takes 15-25 days depending on the piece. This time allows the piece to cool slowly and evenly. After the cooling process is complete, the plaster is removed from around the piece. The last step is to polish the piece using sanding blocks that have been impregnated with diamond chips.
Kevin and I (a fellow WIN) walked down to the foundry, paid or fee but found we still had some time so we walked around the Shidoni gallery and sculpture garden admiring the beautiful pieces
Would you believe we still was early for the pouring so Kevin and I drove around the neighborhood. We happened upon the All Creatures Memorial Park. We had no idea what it was but I stopped anyway.
You guessed it. It was a pet cemetery.
I had to take a picture of this sign
We had killed enough time so we headed back to the foundry. We only had to wait a short time before the doors of the foundry opened. This was a self guided tour. $5.00 for the tour and $5.00 for the pouring. The foundry specializes in Enlargement, Mold Making, Lost Wax Casting, Fabrication and Patina. The 14,000 square foot facility allows them to pour approximately 9,000 pounds of bronze per month, with a single pour capacity of 1,010 pounds. The gallery opened in 1973 making it the oldest gallery in the Santa Fe area under the same ownership.
I lost my head
The Lost Wax Bronze Casting Process at the Shidoni Foundry takes several weeks from start to finish. The artist makes an original sculpture in wax or clay. Then a rubber mold is made which captures every detail of the original work. The molds are then used to form wax figures. Molten wax is poured into the rubber mold making a perfect copy. Wax rods (gates) are attached to the wax pattern to allow even flow of molten metal and alleviate the trapping of air and gas.
The wax is then coated with an "investment", which is a liquid refractory ceramic . As many as 20 layers are applied over several days. Now coated in a ceramic shell, the piece is fired in a kiln. This bakes the shell and eliminates the wax, leaving a cavity in it's place, thus the term 'Lost Wax'.
The pour was fascinating. I felt so sorry for the artist in their fire proof suits. The gentleman getting the bronze hot enough for the pour had to be mist with air and water from time to time
This is a chart of melting temperatures
Now this is were we came in....the Casting (pour).
The ceramic shell is removed from the kiln and molten bronze is immediately poured at a temperature of 2100 degrees Fahrenheit.
What we did not see is that after cooling for several hours, the ceramic shell is carefully broken away revealing the bronze sculpture.
After the pouring , I went back to get Jean. We needed to do laundry but first we headed to the Artist Market. We got waylaid when we arrived because of the music. The Railyard Performance Center was having a Dundun Dance class from Guinea, West Africa. We were invited in to watch. I was told that this class was a fusion of West African drumming and dancing. If you wanted to drum, they would provide the Dundun and sticks for $20. I did not find out how much the class was. If I had gotten there earlier, I would have loved to have tried the dance.
We finally made it to the artisan market but it was closing. We had to go through it quickly. I got a lot of ideas but did not have time to really look to buy anything. The tree lined area of the market was beautiful.
That night, a group of us went to a block party that was not exactly a party but we got yogurt and listened to a Midsummer Concert performed by the Santa Fe Concert Band. The band is celebrating 150 years of free public concerts and all of the musicians are volunteers. The band performs throughout the year, including , national holidays, dedications, public ceremonies, and afternoon concerts.
I felt so sorry for the musicians because the wind was gusting. They were using clothes pins and their elbows to hold down the music sheets and their feet to hold down the music stands while not missing a beat.
Rain cut the concert short
Today Monday, a few of us went out to breakfast since we are leaving to head to Colorado tomorrow to join up with the Rocky Mountain High WIN group.
Deannie found this vegan cafe that she wanted to try. Love Yourself Cafe is part of the Light Vessel Santa Fe Spa. Off we went to brunch.
How many cafes have you been to with comfy pillows to lean back on. I thought..the food must be good.
Kevin, me, Jean and Deannie