Circles of Fire
Circles of Fire
For the past fifteen years I have been making cast iron sculptures that exhibit the “memory” of fire. In fact, the iron is cast directly into wooden molds and the resulting form and surface is the result of violent but controlled burning. This “performance” aspect of the process engages all of the senses of everyone present. Fire has never lost its power to attract and to repel humans. Perhaps it is a collective memory of the species, a psychological link with our primordial past. Objects born in the fire were thought to have spirits and those who controlled the process were masters of that spirit. The “spirit” of fire is captured in these sculptures as a physical record that can be confirmed by touch as well as by sight.
The casting process itself is a pyrotechnic event that results in a sculpture. The surfaces of the sculpture are unmistakably either charred and untouchable or invitingly smooth. In both cases they record a process that is only completely understood as a total experience involving all the senses and bringing the beholder in touch with both their own personal memory and with the collective mastery of a prime element which has never lost its power and mystery.
I propose to cast iron into four wooden molds that will result in four castings of circles/discs. The mold will be constructed of plywood and lumber and will be arranged in an arc . Each mold will require a full ladle of iron to cast. I have made this type of casting many times and the reaction between the wood molds and the iron is spectacular!
Fountains of sparks and streams of flame erupt from the vents that are carefully located in the molds. The molds are designed to create a pyrotechnic event while also resulting in useable casting.