Information on the determination of your final grade

A=90% or higher

Mid-term Test 100 points

Final Exam 100 points

Research Paper 100 points

Research Paper Peer Reviews 50 points

Research Project 150 points:
100 points for completion of research and documentation – although I do not need a written report, I want clear and thorough copies of your notes (these should include notes on both process and results and  be clear enough that someone reading them should be able to repeat your results) as well as photo documentation of your process.

25 points for presentation – 5 minutes per person in each group

Five Practical casting assignments 100 points each

 Clay wax molds

Completion of Wax (25 points)
Completion of Clay Mold (25 points)
Burn-out of clay mold (25 points)
Pouring of clay mold in copper (25 points- you will get the points if you reached this stage regardless of sucess)
Chasing and clean up of copper (10 extra credit)

Green or Oil Sand Molds

Completion of Pattern (20 points)
Completion of Mold (20 points)
Completion of Pouring (20 points)
Success of Casting (did your gating system work well) (20 points)
Success of two parts fitting (20 points)
Chasing and clean up of final castings (10 points extra credit)

 3D Printed Molds

Completion of successful modeled pattern (50 points)
Pouring of Molds (25 points) – if we do not get to this point for every one this will become XC
Success of casting (did your gating system work)(25 points) – if we do not get to this point for
every one this will become XC
Chasing and clean up of pattern (10 points extra credit divided among those involved)
Up to 25 points of extra credit for modeling your own pattern vs. using the same pattern as a group, the exact amount of points will be dependent on the complexity of the pattern and whether or not you modeled it yourself or got it from a pre-existing file (Thingaverse)

3D printed patterns for lost powder ceramic shell

Turning in individual  pattern with variation on a theme that is appropriate for iron casting
(keeping in mind the requirements for form that iron requires such as thickness) (40 points)
Gating pattern (if you gated your own pattern +10 points EC – if someone else did +0)
Dipping Shells (if you participated in dipping +10 points EC)
Burn-out, cleaning and patching shell (10 points)
Pouring of shell (25 points)
Success of pattern and gating design as well as clean out of mold (25 points)
Clean up of final pattern (up 10 points EC)

Team Built Furnaces

Were you and your team successful in building a functioning furnace? (100 points)


Evaluation of your work as a team mate (50 points) – this will be done through filling out an evaluation form of both your own and partners work – you will assign yourself a grade as well as a grade to others.  I will take these forms + what I have seen from each of you in deciding this grade.

Mandatory Foundry Task  50 points – with potential for extra credit for those who do extra work

Physical Participation in at least one pour (as charger, skimmer, live/dead end or assisting with mold placement) 25 points, with up to 25 more points (5 points each class period) for participation in extra pours.



Missing Assignments – if you are missing assignments or steps for what ever reason, talk with me about extra credit chances.

Especially noting the postings time – this is still subject to change.


About skaad

Professor Laura West, head of Sculpture at Fresno City College, has been casting iron since her undergraduate studies at Southern Illinois University in the late 1980's/early 1990's. This is where her first iron furnace was built. Professor West continued her studies at Idaho State University and then became part of the teaching staff at the Johnson Atelier Technical Institute of Sculpture before moving to Fresno, California. Although Professor West has run and built furnaces of a wide variety of sizes, types and situations, she specializes in smaller furnaces and beginner crews. Laura is known internationally for her iron casting skills. Her small tap out iron cupola which melts 100 lbs/7minutes and has been used in classrooms and workshops from coast to coast. This furnace alone has seen over 30,000 pounds of iron flow through it. Professor West was even a member of a small crew of people who poured iron north of the arctic circle in Alaska. Laura's work has been exhibited internationally and focuses on the placement of cast figurative elements within installation and environmental formats. In the past several years, her work has expanded to include the use of digital technology and rapid prototyping. This research focuses on the use of digitally produced molds and patterns for use with cast metal.
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