Three Artists, 20 thousand pounds of molds, 2000 pounds of iron
During the summer of 2009, artists Araan Schmidt, Michael Wickerson and John Bridges, completed a 20 thousand pound sand casting workshop that spanned 24 days in the month of June and they completed two irons pours for students (Sara Tellini, John Hilger, Mitch Kirkwood), alumni (Casey Palmer, Zac Meyer) and the public (Kim Lindaberry). Working from simple cope & drag designs, multi-piece floating cored molds and inventive 2 & 1/2 ton molds that utilized 850 pound reinforced cores and dozens of 150 pound mold sections, Schmidt, Wickerson and Bridges struggled through the 100 degree heat wave in order to discover what durability and endurance truly mean to both the mind and body.
In the wake of re-casting one ton of iron boilers from past cultural artifacts into new forms ranging from full figures, vessels, bells, abstractions and fire plates, Schmidt, Wickerson and Bridges must now focus on filling their enantimorphs in the late summer months by designing a continuous cupola capable of charging a new 500 pound ladle at KCAI, accessing Clay & Bailey Iron Casting foundry, and simultaneously casting 600 pounds of bronze for one selected artwork.
Casting on this scale has provided the means for testing the stamina, determination and strange conviction one must have in order to push oneself through this kind of un-alienated labor.
Love for labor remains the driving force that passionately weds the means to the ends. - Wickerson July 1st, 2009