Running and maintaining an iron cupolette furnace

With the growing interest and resurgence in iron work across the UK SSW has identified the need to share specialist knowledge and build technical confidence in order to encourage the use of existing cupola and cupolette furnaces around Britain. Utilising SSW’s twenty five year history of working with iron this unique opportunity provides experienced artists and foundry technicians the chance to learn, build confidence and fully understand the practicalities of running an iron furnace under the expert guidance and supervision of Prof George Beasley.

This course will cover all aspects of furnace operation including design specification and associated implications, troubleshooting and maintenance and the preparation of materials, quantities and pour techniques.

The course costs cover tuition, materials, consumables and full foundry personal protective equipment (PPE) will be provided.

*Sand moulds and iron will be charged separately if applicable.

Course Contents:

  • Day 1 – Artist arrive on Friday afternoon.
  • Opportunity to make moulds for final pour.
  • Presentation by Prof. George Beasley followed by group discussion and meal.
  • Day 2 – *Sputnik* 12” short stack cupolette
  • Induction to foundry / furnace rules and guidelines for personal protection and safety
  • Introduction to operation of furnace
  • Cleaning and preparation of furnace
  • Preparation of materials / quantities and measurements
  • Laying out bed
  • Technical advice and supervision on running the furnace
  • Experience of running the furnace
  • Preparation of moulds.
  • Participants induction for pour
  • Iron pour
  • Clearing up process
  • Day 3 – *Thorsfru* 16” cupolette furnace
  • Opportunity for participants to make moulds for final pour
  • Participants will use what they have learnt to run the bigger capacity furnace from preparation to pouring of moulds and clearing up

Running and maintaining an iron cupolette furnace – Three day course

Course Leader​ Prof. George Beasley
Places​ 6 (Advanced)
Cost: £410 or £450 including two night’s accommodation
Booking: Call 01464 861372 or email admin@ssw.org.uk

Friday 1 – Sunday 3 September 2017
Time​ Friday 6pm – 10pm, Sat and Sunday 10am – 6pm


Iron and fire

*BRING / MAKE YOUR OWN MOULDS costs for resin bonded sand and iron for casts will be weighed and charged separately.

 Additional Information:
Warm work clothes must be worn. Overalls, steel toecap boots and personal protection equipment will be provided and must be worn as directed, at all times. (Please bring your own steel toecap boots, overalls or fine particle masks if owned)

*Self – catering accommodation so remember to bring food, basic provisions can be bought at the village garage.


Professor George Beasley was born in Ironton, Ohio in 1943. He studied at the Cleveland Institute of Art and Cranbrook Academy of Art and began teaching at Georgia State University in the Fine Art Department in 1970. He was instrumental in incorporating iron casting into the universities sculpture program and created the Holiday Iron Pour in 1972 which is now the second oldest public iron pour in the USA. He retired as Regent’s Professor Emeritus and SSW are lucky to have had his expertise, friendship, support and input since 1994 at our workshop, here in North East Scotland, where he enjoys the summertime each year.

Inspiration for imagery in his sculpture and drawings has been developed through research into Celtic influences on European foundry history and practice. He exhibits and performs internationally and his artworks are found in numerous private, corporate and institutional collections.

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