Friday, May 15, 2020

'Furnace Dreams' During Covid19

African Iron Smelting Furnace in the shape of a woman
One of the online assignments for Junior Foundry during Covid 19 was to Design a Dream Furnace. To start with we looked at historic furnaces from Ancient African Iron Smelters which are often personified to Abraham Darby's coke furnace in Ironbridge that addressed the fuel shortages of wood at the time of the Industrial Revolution. A furnace that melts metal can be a purely functional apparatus but it is also a magical apparatus of transformation, in early times it is where ritual and ceremony took place in order for a successful material transformation to be undertaken. In contemporary metal casting practices this still holds some resonance with many people and forces coming together for a pour bringing their energy and focus towards melting the metal. In some cases the furnace and the pour intentionally become a performance, on most occasions it is a well coordinated dance of sweat and logistics. Students were asked to consider type of material to be melted, fuel used, crew needed, site and occasion. 

Darby Furnace 1709 First Coke Fired Furnace, Ironbridge, UK
Autumn Maggi 'Plasma Trivection Kiln and Furnace' 

     See through main crucible/kiln area
     Fireplace for cooking and warmth
     Digital temperature gage
     Manual and Digital Controls
     Can heat up most metals within 30 minutes
     Wood and gas powered
     Can be operated by two or less people

Misty Long-Donoho  'S'MoreChocolator'

Daniela Murphy  'Corona the Furnace' 


Corona the furnace is a safety proven modified trash can, insulated with refractory material and a temperature gauge to ensure the easy and accurate firing of various metals and pottery to its appropriate temps. It features a design that can handle both a crucible for the melting of metals or a platform for firing clay bodies. The furnace is equipped with a modified lid on which spikes are attached for the roasting of foods wrapped in foil. The lid will be minimally insulated for the purpose of utilizing the excess heat in order to cook the foods. 

Emily Bernier  'Its Time To Par-Tea' 

The teapot is the chamber that protects the furnace and is mostly there for show. When you open up the top of the teapot (the flame topper) you will see the furnace and you can grab your crucible to pour your metal. This furnace will melt aluminum only and will run on propane and the metal will be melted within a crucible made out of carbide graphite. The furnace goes up to 1250 degrees fahrenheit because that is the melting temperature for aluminum. The exterior is made of steel with 1” of fibrefrax ceramic wool to insulate the furnace as well as ceramic wool located on the cover of the furnace(not pictured). The bottom is made out of refractory cement and also has fire bricks. You will use the gas hose, propane and gas pressure regulator to heat the furnace safety! After we melt the hot metal into the crucible and pour it into our molds, we will all gather together and have a tea party!
John MacArthur  'Furnace Fantastic'

I want to be able to melt metal in my hands but this is the body I have created to do it for me.

Artzy Basheff 
 Adrienne 'Milo' Beebe  'Travelling Communities'

My furnace is named Travelling Communities, it is designed so that it can be taken apart into four pieces and reassembled on site. It’s an iron furnace. Originally it was created for bronze, but I realized that I want this furnace to be able to travel to communities that experienced hardship, and iron is more readily available. This is both a production and performance furnace. I would want to bring this bright furnace to areas that recently went through natural disasters, and invite locals to participate in an iron pour where they can:-

1. Make something functional
2. Make something sentimental
3. Throw in personal debris to charge the furnace.

It would therefore run on coke, limestone, iron, and whatever the locals wanted to through in (as long as it’s safe to burn eg. papers, wood, leaves…). Ideally, Travelling Communities would need four to five experienced metal workers, and the locals would fill in the rest. The more people that participate, the easier the work.

Anna Rasmussen 'Gnome Furnace'


This furnace is based on the Gnomes workshop, they have their own language and it would produce gnomes gold.

'Tara' 2007 National Casting Center Foundry 100# tap coke fired iron furnace
 Tara Thomas  'Birnace'

Birnace works like a Darby Furnace, and is positioned at the side of cliff for access to charging him via his beak. Birnace is thirteen-foot-tall furnace with a double-conical designed keeping heat in making him more fuel efficient. He is equipped with a “poop-shoot” to let out the molten metal into egg shape molds and used exclusively for melting copious amounts of gold.
Birnace exists in an alternate universe where there is a sole owner of all the gold in their world, due to the fact that he is a super-being and all the normal humans are allergic to gold. The super-being protects the other beings with technology advancements brought to them from the super-being’s home world, E-Ar-Th. Birnace may be made of metal but he does have a life of his own. He rests by the super-being’s side in a large nest. The normal-beings worship the super-being and Birnace for their abilities by bring them charges of gold and fuel throughout the day, careful to not touch any of gold that covers most of the plant.

Saymi Pinder  'Dragon Furnace'

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