Basket Furnace

Basket Furnace
George Beasley


This work would be a functioning iron furnace generating molten iron that would produce enough iron to fill a wood and clay form near its base. This form would be in the shape of an “X” each arm of which would be approximately 3 meters long. The finished X, weighing approximately 140 Kilos, would be supported by large stones about 1.5 meters above the ground. The wood form itself would be consumed by fire during the event leaving the X on the site.

I build these furnace constructions from various improbable materials such as wood, twigs, cut earth, stone, etc. For this one I am proposing to build the main part of the furnace in the shape of a large woven willow basket. This basket would then be covered with clay and another basket woven around it, and then more clay, another basket woven, repeating until the form is approximately 20 centimeters thick. The total basket would be about 2.5 meters high and 2 meters at the widest part. in the shape of a graceful bottle. (I am hoping to find a Latvian basketry expert to work with me in building this element of the sculpture.) This basket form would be suspended within a vertical wood timber structure approximately 4 meters above the ground dependent on site requirements. A certain amount of landscape manipulation might prove necessary dependent on conditions of the site. As to a preferred site, that would have to be determined by a visit in 2013. I enjoy working in or around a water site if available because of the mirroring quality of water and the way that it amplifies the light of the fire and iron.

The fire and sparks generated by the furnace will be continually manipulated in an orchestrated manner by the various fuels used and air pressure. After the event, the tower furnace would remain for one year after the event as a witness to that performance. After that, only the iron X supported by notched stone would remain

.Proposal Drawing_Beasley