The purpose-built foundry at SSW offers artists training and access to specialist equipment for mould making and casting in hot metals. We have been pouring hot metal at on a regular basis at SSW since 1982 and are the only open access foundry in the UK.
As with all the SSW facilities, the onus is on learning through doing and our technicians are skilled in supporting artists to engage with every part of the process, regardless of experience and skill level. With this, we can support the fabrication of large and complex works, small test pieces and everything in between.
SSW’s foundry features a large bench for preparing moulds with resin-bonded sand, two furnaces (including ‘Ricky’ the portable furnace), sand mullers, a burn out kiln, equipped wax room and ceramic shell dipping room. We have a good stock of LG2 bronze (gun metal), silicone bronze and aluminium, and can source bell metal and copper if requested in advance.
How much does it cost?
This depends on size, weight, metal, mould-type. We are able to provide a rough estimate if provided with enough information, or you can review the Materials/Stock list for an overview of prices per KG.
Can I pour other metal?
Yes, we have a small amount of other metals, but if it melts we can pour it. We can also order in – please give us enough lead-time to be ready for you.
Can someone who has never cast metal before use the foundry?
SSW runs courses for complete beginners in bronze casting and assistance to residents keen to learn the process while they are here. It is best to discuss your intentions with staff beforehand and be aware of the time it takes to complete a casting project and the cost.
Can I use the Italian block method?
Unfortunately we don’t have adequate ventilation to support the Italian block method at this time.