My first metal foundry piece, ‘Where did your dinner come from?’ frames the important question of sustainable food sourcing through the motto, “Friends Don’t Let Friends Eat Farmed Salmon.” I chose to embed the casted aluminum in a wood platter so that the piece can be used as a serving platter. I wanted to create a piece that would be a relevant conversation starter, and the perfect time to pose this question is right before starting a meal with friends.
To cast the aluminum we built sand block molds using silica sand, resin, and a catalyst to create a negative mold. I came up with a design and scratched it into the sand block. Below is a shot of the finished mold:
When it came time to pour the aluminum we suited up and entered the foundry. We brushed alcohol on the mold so that the aluminum would not stick to the sand. We lined up the molds on cinderblocks and sand so that the hot metal wouldn’t hit the concrete and explode. The forge came out glowing red hot, filled with molten aluminum. Two of my classmates and our sculpture associate poured the aluminum into each mold, using a small wire to “tickle” the aluminum into the cracks of the mold.
Once the aluminum set I was able to pop it right out of the mold. I then polished and cleaned the piece heavily so that it shined like a salmon.
Finally, I set the piece in a wood platter after using a chisel to dig a place in the platter for the plaque I used an epoxy to secure the piece in place. I also brought in some WILD Alaskan smoked salmon with crackers and cream cheese to tie the whole piece together during critique. After critique, I decided that the piece needed a final detail to really make the aluminum stand out, so I used silver paint to highlight the text:
I will most likely add one – two more coats of silver to make it consistent on each letter but I wanted to share the addition while I am waiting for the paint to dry.