Stream 4 – Practical Matters

Stream 4 – Practical Matters
Knowledge sharing is at the center for this stream. Emphasis will be placed on safe practices, interactive demonstrations, and operation of cast iron art programs within schools and communities.

Tatara Furnace Process in Japan – Demonstration and Workshop
A hands-on demonstration of making high carbon steel (Tama-hagane in Japanese) directly from Magnetite iron ore using charcoal as the fuel. This will result in the production of a bloom of steel, which is usable for blacksmithing. Potratz will be building and firing the easily made brick tatara, which can be built in one hour. The brick tatara differs from the traditional Japanese clay tatara which takes a few days to build. A 10 kilo bloom of steel suitable for forging can be produced in a 6 hour smelt using this hybrid version of the Japanese tatara.
Workshop Leader:
Wayne E. Potratz Sculptor; Professor Emeritus and Director Emeritus of the University of Minnesota Sculpture Foundry; Scholar of the College Emeritus, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, USA

Small-Scale Dung Molding – Demonstration and Workshop
The dung method is a leap toward affordable, environmental casting that anyone, regardless of experience, can do. In this demonstration, participants will see the process of making small, palm-size castings using a lost wax molding process based on the ancient African dung mold method. Demo will include a brief history of the craft, simplified instruction on mixing and applying the dung layers, and a short talk on melting the wax out of the molds.
Workshop Leader:
Becca Flis Sculptor; BFA-Sculpture- Alfred, 2014 Cast Iron Workshop: 2013 International Sculpture Symposium, New York, USA

Sodium Silicate Sand Molding with CO2 – Demonstration and Workshop
This session will demonstrate the possibilities and complexities inherent in the sodium silicate sand molding process using direct gas injection methodology. “For me, mould-making is not just a technical process but a methodological journey. In the creative act everything is in flux, the choice of materials, the conceptual idea, the purpose of the sculpture and the way it is made. Making the positive object and creating the negative mold exposes both sides of the brain to maximum creativity.”
Workshop Leader:
Harvey Hood Sculptor, former director of Berllanderi Sculpture Workshop & Head of Sculpture, Cardiff University, UK, and Professor Emeritus, University of Wales Institute at Cardiff, UK

Studio Visit: Harijs Jaunzems Metalsmithing Workshop, Sabile
Conference participants are invited on a walking tour of the studios of Harjis Jaunzems, a metal smith and craftsman located near the river in Sabile. Harjis uses experimental archaeological methods to produce jewellery echoing that of ancient Baltic tribes. He will share information about their symbolism, meaning, and wearing traditions. He has studied Baltic archaeology, history and culture in order to recreate work in the style of ancient Iron Age jewelry, which will be available for purchase by conference-goers.
Harijs Jaunzems Sabile Metalsmith; Iron Age Imagery, Latvian Chamber of Crafts Master Jeweler

Iron Pour – Demonstration of iron casting process
Pour all molds from demos, pre-conference/ conference workshops, additional performance molds, Talsi Community project molds
Furnace operators:
Villu Jaanisoo Professor, Head of Sculpture, Finnish Academy of Fine Arts; Curator, Pirkkala Sculpture Park, Finland
Karlis Alainis Sculptor; Symposium Organizer; Instructor, Sculpture Design Dept. Riga Design and Art School; Lecturer, Sculpture. Latvian Academy of Art Sculptor: Symposium participant; President- Artist’s Union, Latvia

Reduction Sand-mold Workshop
This workshop will focus on reduction molding processes. Registered two-part mold blanks will be provided allowing participants to carve their patterns in the negative. Participants will carve molds and prepare work to cast at the Pedvale Open-Air Art Museum during the Iron Pour Demonstration scheduled on Sunday, June 22nd.
Workshop Leader:
Meagan Daus Studio technician at University of Minnesota, Regis Center for the Arts