Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Peter MacElwain (2)

This is the second installment in my stories about Peter. This picture was taken in 1997 (I think), after he had set up a sculpture exhibition on the grounds of the Arbour Gallery in Vankleek Hill. He is wearing a wonderful pin based on his large white sculpture (on yesterday's post) which was made for him by my daughter, Sarah. 

Peter taught a several art colleges and universities during his career, including Queen's University, the Ontario College of Art (now called OCAD) and the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. In this photo, Peter is surrounded by some of his students from a workshop he taught at the Ottawa School of Art. He taught them mould making and foundry techniques and, at the end of the course, he poured the bronze into the moulds at our foundry. His happy students are holding the sculptures they made in the course. 

Here is Peter taking the crucible out of the oven, ready to pour the bronze. 

These are fairly small moulds and required only a small crucible. So Peter could pour it by himself.  

This photo gives an idea of how hot the crucible would get (the melting point of bronze is about 1000 degrees C). This is a larger crucible, hot out of the oven, and you can see Peter wincing in the heat.  

When the crucible was fairly large, Peter would have someone help him pour the bronze. This is his son Daniel in the yellow coat. 

Usually, I was Peter's foundry helper. Here I am, concentrating really hard as we tilt the crucible.  

And here is the molten bronze pouring into the mould. It really was a quite magical process and always wonderful to see the beautiful golden bronze pouring out of the pot. 

Afterward, we felt like celebrating. Time for a little silliness after all that hot work.

1 comment:

Knatolee said...

I love all these photos, and how fascinating to see the artist at work. Not something I'd want to be doing in August! ;)