01N:165:001 Casting in Hot Metal

Semester: Spring 2013
Course Credit Hours: 4
Professor: Anthony Castronovo
Website: www.acastronovo.com
Office Hours: Th 9:30AM-12:30PM and by appointment
Office Location: SA 1417
Contact: anthony-castronovo@uiowa.edu
Class Time, Location: Fri 9:00AM - 12:20PM, 1203 SA

Jump to Schedule

Art does not reproduce the visible; rather, it makes visible. -Paul Klee

When I face the beauty of nature, I am no longer sensitive to art, but in the town I appreciate its myriad benefits—the more I go into the woods and the fields the more distrustful I become of art and wish all civilization to the devil; the more I wander about amidst filth and sweat the better I understand art and love it; the desire for it becomes my crying need. -Henri Gaudier-Brzeska

This course is an introduction to the various processes related to casting sculptures in bronze and aluminum. We will explore various production techniques including clay modeling, mold-making, and direct wax. We will explore mold making as a way to make multiples. This course will include a basic introduction to mold-making as well as TIG welding and possibly MIG welding to join cast work. As this course meets only once a week, students will be expected to be responsible and independently ambitious, and can expect to put in a minimum of 8 hours of work a week in addition to our meeting time. The IOWA Challenge applies to this course.

What Do Artists Know? |Frances Whitehead



The Lab Fee for this course covers a significant portion of the materials required for the course and includes wax, plaster, expanded lath, and some metal for casting. Each project will be assessed for material use, and students whose projects exceed the basic material use will have to pay extra to cover their materials.


Lotus Sculpture | Henri Gaudier-Brzeska | Jacob Epstein | Mayan Sculpture | Egyptian Sculpture | Scythian Sculpture +1 | Sumerian Art | Minoan Art | African Sculpture | Kiki Smith | Antony Gormley | Picasso Sculpture | Louise Bourgeois | Beth Cavener Stichter |


McMaster | Compleat Sculptor | Sculpt Nouveau | Smooth-On


A key component to good education and to being an engaged, informed artist is your active engagement in community events and ability to experience unique opportunities. There will be lectures, visiting artist talks, and exhibitions that will be required throughout the semester. As these events will happen outside of class, it is understandable that they might not always fit your schedule and so an alternative assignement of research and writing will be optional.




Active participation, engagement, and respectful, critical dialogue in all phases of this course are imperative. The class dynamic dependson your energy, initiative, attitude, productivity, and willingness to get involved in group discussion and critiques. Participate actively during critique and discussion. Complete all assigned readings, make drawings of ideas that happen while reading, and take detailed notes so you can contribute to the discussion in class.

Make safe and considerate choices with equipment and facilities. Do your part to keep the facilities clean. DO NOT use your phone to text, chat, or e-mail during class time. DO NOT use computers to surf the web, check email, chat, watch videos.... during class time.

Ask questions and contribute answers. Offer constructive, respectful feedback during group discussions, class workdays, and critiques. Reflect on the comments you receive to gauge the effectiveness of your work. TAKE NOTES ON EVERYTHING!!! Use your sketchbook for research and development of ideas. Examine the way your ideas change, evolve, and influence formal and conceptual choices in your work.


Grades are meant to evaluate your effort, ideas, and execution. Your overall grade will be based on participation and projects (including creativity, critical thinking, engagement with course information, research, presentation, technical proficiency , and problem solving). Expectations will be explained in detail for each project when it is assigned. If anything seems unclear, you are responsible for asking the instructor for clarification far in advance of the due date. The most successful projects will be very ambitious and well executed technically, but must also exhibit thoughtful connections between concept and form.


Your work will be evaluated on the basis of the following criteria of requirements and expectations:


Official Breakdown:

FINAL SEMESTER EVALUATIONS will be averaged as follows:

SKETCHBOOK: As artists, there is nothing more valuable to your practice than your sketchbook. This is where you think, experiment, and explore your ideas. You should work in your sketchbook every day. There are 16 weeks in the semester, which gives you 112 days not including weekends. In order to receive full credit you should have at least 60 drawings/pages by the end of the semester. A drawing can be anything, technical, representaional, realistic, abstract, experimental, collage, digital.... there are no limits here. Furthermore, students who are interested in working in an alternative format for their sketchbook may consider creating a blog, or taking photos, making prints, making music, writing poetry, etc...

ATTENDANCE: Students must be in class every day. Your presence is critical for your own education but also for the group as a whole. Attendance is a major factor in your participation grade. Each absence lowers your final grade by 5pts. Excused absences are exceptionss, but students should self-report illnesses using the form on the Registrar's website: (http://www.registrar.uiowa.edu/Student/FormsforStudents/tabid/79/Default.aspx).

This attendance policy is in accordance with the CLAS guidelines:

EXTRA CREDIT: there wil be no extra credit assignments, please pay attention to deadlines, and attend class.

FIELD TRIP: A field trip is possible during the semester and may require an extra fee to be paid by students.


SAFETY PROCEDURE: To use tools and the studio lab you must first successfully complete the Woodshop Safety Quiz and the 3D Design Safety Quiz located on ICON by the second day of the course. This is not training for the woodshop, foundry, or any special equipment. This covers only the general safety procedures for the area.

ADMINISTRATIVE HOME: The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences is the administrative home of this course and governs matters such as the add/drop deadlines, the second-grade-only option, and other related issues. Different colleges may have different policies. Questions may be addressed to 120 Schaeffer Hall, or see the CLAS Student Academic Handbook.

ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATION: University policy specifies that students are responsible for all official correspondences sent to their University of Iowa e-mail address (@uiowa.edu). Faculty and students should use this account for correspondences. (Operations Manual, III.15.2. Scroll down to k.11.)

ACCOMODATIONS FOR DISABILITIES: A student seeking academic accommodations should first register with Student Disability Services and then meet privately with the course instructor to make particular arrangements. See www.uiowa.edu/~sds/ for more information.

ACADEMIC HONESTY: The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences expects all students to do their own work, as stated in the CLAS Code of Academic Honesty. Instructors fail any assignment that shows evidence of plagiarism or other forms of cheating, also reporting the student's name to the College. A student reported to the College for cheating is placed on disciplinary probation; a student reported twice is suspended or expelled.

CLAS FINAL EXAM POLICIES: Final exams may be offered only during finals week. No exams of any kind are allowed during the last week of classes. Students should not asktheir instructor to reschedule a final exam since the College does not permit rescheduling of a final exam once the semester has begun. Questions should be addressed to the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Programs and Curriculum.

MAKING A SUGGESTION OR COMPLAINT: Students with a suggestion or complaint should first visit the instructor, then the course supervisor, and then the departmental DEO. Complaints must be made within six months of the incident. See the CLAS Student Academic Handbook.

UNDERSTANDING SEXUAL HARASSMENT: Sexual harassment subverts the mission of the University and threatens the well-being of students, faculty, and staff. All members of the UI community have a responsibility to uphold this mission and to contribute to a safe environment that enhances learning. Incidents of sexual harassment should be reported immediately. See the UI Comprehensive Guide on Sexual Harassment for assistance, definitions, and the full University policy.

REACTING SAFELY TO SEVERE WEATHER: In severe weather, class members should seek appropriate shelter immediately, leaving the classroom if necessary. The class will continue if possible when the event is over. For more information on Hawk Alert and the siren warning system, visit the Public Safety web site.


Jan 25• intro to course and each other, look at overview of cast sculpture, discuss firstproject; Safety Procedures & ICON you must complete the Sculpture module and if you plan on using the Woodshop, complete that module as well; woodshop orientation and safety policies (Each student should have a copy of the woodshop safety proceedures);

This should be done before our first meeting. Students should go to the library and find a book that relates to their area of interest for the first project. Alternatively, you may use the internet to find an image. The first project is based on Mythology and the Power Object. We will look at various ancient cultures and how objects played significant roles in religion and other ceremonial pratices. The main goal is to find an object to replicate, re-interpret, or you may create something totally of your own making. Whatever you decide on, it should be inspiring to you, and speak to you in some way. Do multiple drawings in sketchbook.

Go over basic modeling and mold making. Begin modeling in clay.

For next class: finish modeling clay, let clay dry to leather-hard, go in sometime before next class, meet with Tony, and begin the slab lay-up as described in this moldmaking pdf.

Feb 1•Make molds.

Feb 8• Wax positives ready. Go over spruing, gating, and investment technique. Investment molds must be finished by the end of the day.

Feb 15•Begin burnout prior to this meeting. Today we will cast bronze. Learn TIG welding.

Feb 22•Learn TIG welding. Discuss finishing & patinas.

Mar 1•First Critique. Afterwards we will look at drawings for next project. Each student will bring one large drawing on the BFK 22"x30". Look at drawings and determine methodology for each student. Begin work in clay

Mar 8• Discuss ceramic shell. make molds.

Mar 15• Anthony out of town, but students will work with Tony, get wax sprued/gated and begin shell investment.

Mar 22• No class Spring Break!!! Wax ready. Sprue/Gate. Begin ceramic shell investment. Drying between coats is CRUCIAL. If your coats are not dry, your mold will fail. 8hrs between coats is a good general practice.

Mar 29• More coats on shell investment. Discuss final project ideas.

Apr 5• Finish any remaining coats on shell investment.

Apr 12• Molds go in to kiln on Thursday evening. Cast aluminum

Apr 19• Second Critique..

Apr 26•Begin work on final project

May 3• Sprue/Gate. Invest.

May 10• Final pour.

May 17• Final Critique.