Mya Kerner

Blog

Casting Iron

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I make nontraditional molds, therefore, my attention cannot waiver and the experience is heightened. Iron is poured into a bed of carved clay and the reaction leaves its history upon the surface. Lines travel across a space, simultaneously marking separation and drawing connections.

The materials used for the mold come from a recycled history of this process. The waste from the last set of castings is pulverized and rehydrated to create new clay.

Flasks are placed in the sand and angled, mimicking theslope of the foundry floor. Filling the flask, I pack wet clay a couple inches deep.

Once I have the bed laid, I begin to drag my fingers through the clay, creating channels along the length ofthe flask. These are my molds. As my fingers move, they displace the clay. I continuously repack the boundaries between the channels, assuring their separation.

This process takes place in the sand of the foundry. Sand meets clay and draws moisture from the mold. I become coated in debris. Channels at the top and bottom of the mold ensure stability and allow for a collecting of molten iron.

The iron is poured into the channel and follows the lines down the slope of the mold. Clay hardens and steam escapes as the red flows down, down, cooling as it goes. At some point the metal chills andforbids flow. The ladle is lifted and moves onward.

The red recedes, and the metal settles in its delineation. The mold is covered with sand to enhance durability.

The next day, flasks are lifted. A broom is taken to the sand covering the artifacts. Slowly and carefully, the hardened clay is knocked and peeled away to reveal the connected lines.

As they are removed from their places, some lines hold fast to their stability, while others break free and exist singly. In some places, the metal joins segments at the center, creating a nest of sand and metal. 

 

 

Texture and thickness vary as a result of the organic process. Lines run parallel but negative space undulates with the variation of form.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Crackling, the pieces are set aside.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The infrastructure is created and the strands composed. 

Each specific strand takes hours to select and place.

 

2013: In my studio... Sloss Furnaces, Birmingham, AL

2013: In my studio...

Sloss Furnaces, Birmingham, AL

2015: In the living room...  Photo by Alex Hayden, Room by Michelle Dirkse Interior Design

2015: In the living room... 

Photo by Alex Hayden, Room by Michelle Dirkse Interior Design


My work is influenced by a structure I believe flows through all things. By following these connections we can find our own location and establish a sense of self.


lines span the marks i've set
delineation of the lineage of memory
pulling moments from then and soon
i wade through ambiguity